Understanding Protruded Teeth: Causes and Treatment Options

Protruded teeth, colloquially known as ‘buck teeth,’ occur when the upper front teeth extend outward from the gums. This article explores the causes of protruded teeth, highlighting the importance of considering treatment beyond cosmetic concerns due to potential dental issues.

Defining Protruded Teeth

Protruded teeth, commonly referred to as ‘buck teeth,’ involve the upper front teeth protruding outward from the gums. This condition often results from a significant forward position of the upper jaw in relation to the lower jaw, typically inherited or influenced by habits like thumb sucking.

Causes of Protruded Teeth

The primary cause of protruded teeth is the upper jaw being positioned forward of the lower jaw, often due to genetic factors. Habits like thumb sucking can contribute to or exacerbate this condition. Severe cases, where upper front teeth rest over the lower lip, may worsen the condition.

Considerations Beyond Cosmetics

While protruded teeth have cosmetic implications, they can also pose risks to dental health. Protruded teeth are more prone to damage, uneven wear, and can affect speech and eating. Overeruption in lower front teeth, caused by the absence of opposing teeth, can lead to additional complications and damage to the gum behind upper front teeth.

Treatment Options for Children

For children aged 8-13, orthodontic devices, either fixed or removable, can be employed to address protruded teeth, especially when a smaller lower jaw is involved. Retraction methods aim to move the protruding upper front teeth back into the mouth using braces, elastics, headgear, and functional appliances.

Treatment Options for Adults

In adults, corrective measures for protruded teeth may involve retraction using braces. For more severe cases, orthognathic surgery, also known as ‘surgical orthodontics,’ may be recommended. This surgical approach aims to push the lower jaw forward, achieving proper alignment.

Protruded teeth, beyond their cosmetic impact, can lead to dental complications and functional issues. Recognising the causes and considering treatment options is crucial for maintaining optimal oral health. Consultation with orthodontic professionals can provide personalised insights and guide individuals towards effective solutions based on age and severity of the condition.


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