Category: Orthodontics

The Diet Evolution – The Cause of Crowded Teeth?

As if dental caries is not enough, teeth crowding adds to the list of dental problems. The Daily Mail noted that about a third of 12-year-olds in the UK suffer from malocclusion. Whilst heredity, physical trauma and habit are the usual causes, recent studies reveal diet evolution as an unlikely cause.

Diet and malocclusion

orthodontists in Milton KeynesStudies reveal that changes in people’s diet brought by evolution may be the cause of malocclusion. Researchers suggest that the shift from hunters to gatherers contributed to overcrowded teeth.

The study of 94 skeletons from Amarna, Egypt revealed that most people in the past have well-aligned teeth. Raw and coarse food affected teeth and jaw development. Since people in the past had to chew and rip apart meat, their mandibular bones in lower jaws grew bigger, stronger and more capable of accommodating all the teeth.

Everything changed during the arrival of sugar in Britain at the start of the 19th century. That, and the rise of highly processed, pre-packaged food, resulted in teeth’s deterioration. As food became softer, people did not have to use much chewing power, which caused jaws to become smaller and teeth more crowded.

The study on the quantity of teeth per person proved the decline of oral health. Humans should have an average of 32 teeth, including wisdom teeth. The Department of Health found that the average number is now only 25.7, however. They further noted that people have to lose more teeth because of lack of space.

Researchers found other contributing factors to bad teeth, such as prolonged breastfeeding in babies and the use of baby bottles and dummies. Consumption of food without nutrients leads to malocclusion, as well.

Solving the problem

Researchers recommend that people with malocclusion undergo orthodontic treatments to prevent dental caries, which is another leading problem in Britain. They further suggest substituting soft and sugary food with tougher meat and coarse grain to build bigger jaws.

Changes to our diet made malocclusion inevitable. Fortunately, evolution allows us to fix what it caused, as well. Milton Keynes Orthodontics has a wide range of dental treatments to restore teeth in their original position. Our services will improve the appearance of your teeth and smile the healthy way. For more information about our treatments, contact orthodontists in Milton Keynes.

Malocclusion and Speech Problems

Those who have a lisp and those who whistle when they try to pronounce certain words know that speech problems are a serious barrier in their social and professional lives. For instance, those in sales may find it difficult to win new clients if they cannot speak confidently during a sales presentation.

orthodontists in Milton KeynesThose suffering from speech problems may blame it on the nerves and issues with their tongue. Few know, however, that when it comes to chronic speech problems, the teeth are sometimes to blame.


Normal jaw structure has teeth on the upper arch slightly more forward than the lower arch. There are certain conditions where the overlap is excessive (i.e. overbite) or the lower jaw extends beyond the upper jaw (i.e. underbite). Crossbite is another condition wherein the position of one or more teeth is reversed.

A crossbite may result in the production of alveolar sounds (/t/, /n/ and /d/) if the tongue remains in a normal position. This is because the person compensates by pulling the tongue back. The sounds, which are normally articulated with /s/, /z/ and /l/ will be produced with /t/, /n/ or /d/.

Open Bite

An open bite occurs when the front teeth (both the upper and lower) are forced outwards to an extent that the teeth of the upper and the lower jaw do not touch each other—even when the mouth is closed. Much like in a crossbite, an open bite may result in an interdental production of alveolar sounds. To be more specific, those suffering from an open bite cannot produce the /s/ sound correctly, as there is a distortion of the airstream.


In normal dentition, there is a small space between the upper and the lower incisors, which is about 2mm when the teeth are clenched together. If the space is greater, the condition is called an overjet. ‘Buck teeth’, as well as class II malocclusion wherein the jaw sticks out further than usual, is another example of an overjet.

This condition in a lateral or interdental production of sibilants (sounds with hissing effect), since the positioning of the tooth affect the position of the tongue and the airflow.

Do not let your speech problems affect your social and professional life. If you think your teeth are the problem, let our orthodontists in Milton Keynes help you with our range of orthodontic treatments, including lingual braces and Invisalign.

Call today and let our Milton Keynes orthodontists restore your smile, your speech and your life.

Orthodontic Relapse and Your Teeth

Anyone who made the effort to straighten teeth by wearing braces for a year or more during their youth may find teeth shifting back into a crooked state later on in life. What happened? Even with the braces, the brackets, the wires, the frequent adjustments, the inconvenience of brushing and flossing all the time, and the ‘metal mouth’ remarks, why do teeth shift back in place?

Milton Keynes orthodonticsMany post-orthodontic patients experience what is called an ‘orthodontic relapse’—a phenomenon wherein the teeth shift slowly out of alignment following treatment. Most of the time, this calls for another round of braces or aligners to correct.

Why Teeth Shift Back

The shifting of the teeth after the removal of braces happens because of a number of factors, including genetics, tooth loss, habitual teeth grinding (propels the lower jaw forward and puts pressure on the upper row of the teeth, causing the teeth to fall out of alignment), and wisdom tooth eruption (pushes the lower teeth closer together, affecting alignment).

Another factor is when the patient stops wearing their retainers.

When the brackets of braces are done with the job, an orthodontist provides retainers because teeth become a little mobile while the bone stabilizes around the tooth root. The retainers make sure the teeth stay in their new position.

Because the human body is constantly changing, the teeth can shift throughout a person’s life. Teeth that come in perfectly straight naturally, or are set up that way by an orthodontist are not going to stay that way. By wearing the retainer for as long and as often as prescribed by the dentist, patients can keep their teeth straight for longer.

How Teeth Move

Teeth move in two directions. They can erupt towards the ones in the opposite arch—those that are on the lower row erupt upwards, while the upper ones go downwards. Another type of tooth movement is that when the powerful muscles that close the jaws apply more pressure inward, while the teeth go in an outward direction. The pressure they create then forces the back teeth inwards.

If you think you are experiencing an orthodontic relapse, call Northlight Dental—the go-to clinic for Milton Keynes orthodontics treatment. Let our Milton Keynes orthodontists help you.