Teeth crowding and how to fix crowded teeth

If you have crowded teeth, you're not alone. In fact, teeth crowding is one of the most common orthodontic problems adults face, affecting around 24% of women and 14% of men. The great news is that with crowded teeth treatment such as the Invisalign system, you could avoid overcrowded teeth complications and move forward in life with a better smile.


What is teeth crowding?

Teeth crowding is the general term used to describe teeth that are packed too tightly in the jaw. When teeth run out of space, they start pressing together and shifting in front of and behind one another, resulting in crooked or overlapping teeth. In dentistry, teeth crowding is a type of malocclusion, which means your teeth and jaw aren't aligned when you close your mouth.


Teeth crowding causes

Teeth overcrowding happens when your jaw is too small or narrow for your teeth or your teeth are too big to fit available space. Genetic factors are among the most frequent crowded teeth causes. However, crowded teeth can also be caused by:

  • baby teeth falling out too early or too late
  • the improper eruption of a tooth or teeth
  • having extra teeth
  • past poorly-fitted dental crowns
  • a tumour, cleft lip or palate
  • use of a dummy after the age of three
  • prolonged use of a bottle in early childhood
  • extended childhood thumb sucking
  • Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders

Crowded teeth symptoms and complications

Teeth crowding symptoms and complications extend beyond aesthetics. Left untreated, the misalignment caused by crowded teeth can lead to more serious dental and health issues. Take a look at the top eight reasons why fixing teeth crowding is important to your health and wellbeing.

Top eight reasons why fixing crowded teeth is important

  • Realigning your teeth and jaw reduces overcrowded teeth pain while chewing.
  • Teeth crowding treatment such as the Invisalign system may help restore confidence in your smile due to straighter teeth.
  • Overcrowded teeth can rub each other, causing premature wear and tear.
  • Misalignment of the teeth may cause jaw muscle stress, leading to neck and shoulder pain.
  • Straightening crowded teeth makes cleaning your teeth easier, which can reduce the chances of tooth decay.
  • When teeth overcrowding results in crooked or overlapping teeth, it's easier for food and bacteria to get trapped between them, which can lead to gum disease.
  • In severe cases, overcrowded teeth can cause TMJ disorders with tenderness of the jaw and more serious overcrowded teeth pain.
  • Early crowded teeth treatment may reduce the need for major intervention later on.

Common teeth crowding cases


Teeth crowding is a problem faced by children and adults alike. The most common types of crowded teeth include:

mild or moderate teeth crowding

slight rotation or misalignment of a tooth or teeth

front teeth crowding

visibly overlapping or crooked front teeth crowding on the upper or lower jaw

single tooth crowding

a single crooked or overlapping tooth caused by baby teeth falling out too early or too late for example

severe overcrowding teeth

more severe lack of space within the dental arches which can lead to abnormal bite patterns

bottom teeth crowding

visibly overlapping or crooked bottom front teeth or premolar crowding

wisdom teeth crowding

whether wisdom teeth cause overcrowding is a topic of debate among experts with no formal conclusion reached to date.

Teeth crowding treatment

So what are your crowded teeth treatment options and can you fix overcrowded teeth without braces? A qualified doctor will be able to answer these questions after reviewing your case. Recommended crowded teeth treatment, such as using Invisalign clear aligners, depends on many factors, including:

  • the cause and severity of your crowded teeth
  • your age
  • treatment cost versus your budget
  • your preferred treatment process.


Available teeth crowding treatment options

Removable Invisalign aligners

The Invisalign system is a popular option if you're looking to fix overcrowded teeth without braces using the world's most advanced clear aligners. To find out if you're a good candidate for Invisalign crowded teeth treatment, take our free Smile Assessment.

Traditional braces

Metal or ceramic brackets and wire fixed to upper and lower teeth can be used for fixing crowded teeth.

Porcelain veneers

Cosmetic dentistry such as porcelain veneers for crowded teeth may help improve aesthetics in mild overcrowding teeth cases.

A custom-made wire or clear plastic device can realign crowded teeth in some cases.

In extreme crowded teeth cases, your doctor may need to create extra space using palatal expansion or tooth extraction. More often than not, teeth removal happens in conjunction with a crowded teeth treatment such as the Invisalign system.

Removable appliance/plate

A custom-made wire or clear plastic device can realign crowded teeth in some cases.

Can Invisalign fix teeth crowding?

Invisalign treatment could be one of the top ways to fix overcrowded teeth, depending on your case. Start by finding an experienced Invisalign doctor near you and discuss what's causing your crowded teeth and whether you need tooth extraction before the Invisalign treatment process begins.


So, how does Invisalign treatment work for crowded teeth?

The Invisalign system for crowded front teeth or lower teeth works by using a series of clear, removable plastic trays (aligners) that fit over the teeth. The aligners are custom-made and changed approximately every two weeks to move teeth into the desired position. The Invisalign crowded teeth treatment has many advantages versus traditional braces, and you could enjoy benefits such as:

  • virtually clear aligners without the look of metal brackets and wires
  • a better indication of treatment time using your individually-mapped crowded teeth digital treatment plan
  • a similar crowded teeth treatment cost to braces at some practices
  • freedom to remove your aligners and eat and drink your favourite foods without restrictions
  • the crowded teeth treatment results you want with less pain than traditional braces
  • fewer doctor visits compared to fixed appliance treatments.

Three easy steps to start fixing your crowded teeth


  1. Take our free Smile Assessment to see if you're a good candidate for Invisalign treatment.
  2. Find a qualified Invisalign doctor near you using our easy search tool, and request an appointment with our Invisalign Smile Concierge team.
  3. Begin the Invisalign treatment process with the world's most advanced clear aligners.


Congratulations on taking the first step to unlocking your best smile.