what causes crooked teeth

What Causes Crooked Teeth?

Most people want a straight, healthy smile. With all the advances in orthodontics, achieving your perfect smile is easier than ever before. But what causes crooked teeth in the first place? Whether through genetics or environmental factors, there are multiple things that can make your smile crooked. 


Crooked teeth often run in a family as a result of genetic predispositions. If a parent or grandparent has crooked teeth, their children or grandchildren will often have them as well. This can be caused by overcrowding, overbites or underbites, or having too many teeth—a condition known as hyperdontia. Jaw shape and size can also determine the placement of your teeth, with certain sizes and shapes being more prone to crooked teeth.

Thumbsucking or pacifier use

Many children use self-calming methods like sucking their thumb or a pacifier. While this can provide comfort at a young age, it can lead to dental issues as they get older. Frequent use of both of these can cause teeth to shift and become misaligned, even if use is discontinued before the permanent teeth erupt.


If someone experiences a fall or a mouth injury while playing sports or other activities, this can lead to crooked teeth. If teeth experience trauma, they can fall out, shift, or chip. This can all cause once-straight teeth becoming crooked. 

Mouth breathing or tongue thrusting

Surprisingly, breathing exclusively through your mouth can lead to crooked teeth, as well as a change in your entire facial features. By breathing through your mouth instead of your nose, you breathe in allergens, germs, and other toxins with no filters, like you have in your nose. This can lead to increased gum disease, which in turn can cause teeth decay and loss. Tongue thrusting, when you push your tongue against your teeth instead of the top of your mouth when swallowing, can also gradually move your teeth into different positions, resulting in a misaligned smile. 

Is having crooked teeth bad?

The short answer: Yes, because it can lead to health problems. Having crooked teeth makes it harder to brush them effectively, allowing plaque to build up and possible gum disease. Crooked teeth can also cause excessive stress on your teeth, gums, and jaw, which can result in headaches, jaw pain, or cracked teeth. Having a misaligned smile can also make you feel self-conscious or embarrassed, leading to a lower self-esteem. 

How do you fix crooked teeth?

If you feel ready for a straighter smile, Bruno Orthodontics is here to help. We offer a variety of treatment options and will tailor each treatment plan to best serve you. Whether you want something traditional, like silver braces, or more discreet, like Invisalign, we’ll decide on the best course of treatment for your individual case. 


Having crooked teeth can lead to health problems and emotional distress, but with the reliable treatment options available today, there’s no reason to keep dealing with a misaligned smile. Contact Bruno Orthodontics today for your free consultation!

Bruno Orthodontics offers Invisalign, braces, and other orthodontic treatment for adults, teens, and children in an award-winning office in Chevy Chase. Dr. Jill Bruno is a Diamond+ Provider for Invisalign, putting her in the top 1% of Invisalign doctors. Convenient online scheduling and virtual consults are available for new and current patients.