Overcrowding, dental

Excessive crowding of the teeth so that they are unable to assume their normal positions in the jaw. Dental overcrowding is commonly inherited and may occur because the teeth are too large for the jaw or the jaw is too small to accommodate the teeth. Premature loss of primary molar (back) teeth can cause the permanent teeth beneath them to move out of position and crowd the teeth further forward. Overcrowded teeth may lead to malocclusion or may prevent certain teeth from erupting through the gum (see impaction, dental). They can be difficult to clean, increasing the risk of dental decay (see caries, dental) and periodontal disease. Teeth may need to be extracted to allow room for others. Usually an orthodontic appliance is fitted to the remaining teeth to position them correctly.


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