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Causes Of Protruding Teeth And The Associated Dental Risks

Protruding teeth

Many patients who live with protruding teeth avoid orthodontic treatment believing that it’s only an aesthetic concern, but the issues related conditions can create go beyond the aesthetic. Overbite and other conditions resulting in protruding teeth have been associated with higher instances of dental trauma, especially among younger patients.

Conditions involving protruding teeth affect 85% of children aged 12-15

Common Origins of Protruding Teeth

Protruding teeth aren’t uncommon in children, but there are many adults who also live with this condition. In most cases, the origin of this concern is the patient’s developmental years, though behaviors resulting in protruding teeth can start at any age. Some of the more common causes of protruding teeth are listed below:

  • Genetics – Our genetics have a distinct effect on many aspects of our health and body. In patients who have parents with jaw shapes that result in protruding teeth, the likelihood of the patient developing them is much higher. While not preventable, it is possible to avoid behaviors that will aggravate the condition.

  • Missing or Additional Teeth – Our mouths are designed to hold a certain number of teeth, but it’s possible for us to have more teeth than normal, and losing teeth is common. When too many teeth are present, it can result in other teeth being pushed out of position due to crowding. Too few allows our remaining teeth to migrate out of their normal position, which can result in overbite.

  • Finger Sucking – This common childhood habit is normal before age 3. After this age, it can result in our teeth being moved out of position, jutting forward due to the pressure placed on the forward teeth by fingers.

  • Tongue Thrusting – There are a number of conditions that can cause tongue thrusting to occur, being a condition where the tongue is pushed forward farther than normal. Poor swallowing habits, allergies, swollen tonsils, and tongue-tie can all be causes. The pressure placed on the forward teeth by the tongue can push them out of position.

Some causes of protruding teeth can be avoided by preventing the underlying cause. When protruding teeth already exist, there are orthodontic treatments available that can help address them. Your dentist can help you prevent non-genetic protruding teeth by offering techniques or treatments for aggravating conditions or habits.

Injuries Resulting From Protruding Teeth

Studies have shown that patients with protruding teeth have a higher tendency to experience dental trauma, especially children. When dental trauma occurs, it often involves damage that exposes the inner pulp, causes teeth to become displaced, and can result in discoloration or loss of teeth. Reports of dental trauma in adolescent patients with protruding teeth are common, especially among those participating in an active lifestyle or school sports. Receiving orthodontic care can improve their appearance and reduce their chances of experiencing dental trauma throughout their lives.

Dr. Karmen Massih Inspired by orthodontics at the age of 10, Dr. Karmen Massih earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine at UCLA's School of Dentistry. After earning her certificates in orthodontics at the University of Pittsburgh, she returned to her hometown of Glendale, CA, to begin Massih Orthodontics, a practice dedicated to transforming smiles for people of all ages.