Windsor Centre For Advanced Dentistry

What causes protruding teeth in adults?

Protruding teeth are one of the most visible dental complaints, affecting many patients with an overbite or angled tooth line. The good news is that protruding teeth can often be treated relatively easily, depending on what has caused the protrusion in the first place.

Protruding teeth caused by periodontal disease - before and after

In this blog, we’ll look at the most common causes of protruding teeth and the various solutions we use to correct them at the Windsor Centre for Advanced Dentistry.

Causes of protruding teeth

Protruding teeth are often caused during childhood through behaviour such as thumb sucking or using a dummy. However, there are some behaviours that are more likely to affect adults or to develop over time from childhood.


Protruding teeth can be caused by the tongue pressing too far forward in the mouth, which results in a malocclusion – an imperfect positioning of the teeth – such as an overbite or open bite. While this condition is common in childhood, it can carry on into adulthood.

Tongue-thrusting can be caused by:

  • Chronically swollen adenoids or tonsils
  •  Poor swallowing habits
  •  Stress
  • Unconscious habits during sleep


Some people are simply born with an uneven jaw, or mismatched sizing of the upper or lower jaw. While this is hereditary, a malocclusion may not always present itself until the adult teeth have grown in. This is typically treated with orthodontic treatment in childhood and adolescence. In rare and extreme cases, orthognathic surgery is sometimes required to correct larger jaw discrepancies or deformities.

Missing teeth, extra teeth or impacted teeth

Spacing or crowding in the mouth can change the alignment of front teeth, potentially causing protruding teeth over time. Missing teeth may cause remaining ones to shift over time into a protrusion, while extra teeth can cause alignment issues due to lack of space in the mouth.

Gum (periodontal) disease and bone loss

Periodontal disease can also lead to protruding teeth as a result of bone loss and loss of stability. The teeth can become mobile and can also drift and often typically start to protrude and elongate.

Mouth and jaw tumours and cysts

Although very rare, growths such as cysts, benign or malignant tumours in the mouth or jaw can also cause teeth to move and protrude.

Can braces fix protruding teeth and what are the other correction options?

Yes, orthodontic treatment with different types of braces can fix protruding teeth. Invisalign is also one of the orthodontic treatment options and can guide your teeth back to their desired position using clear plastic aligners. However, the appropriate treatment always depends on the cause and condition of the protruding teeth and the teeth and gums in general.

Any underlying periodontal disease needs to be treated and, of course the dentist will check if there is any disease causing the tooth protrusion.

However, while these are some of the most common correction options, each case of protruding teeth is unique, and the option chosen to treat the teeth will be specific to the case itself. There’s no one single fix for all cases.

How long does it take to fix protruding teeth?

This varies according to the severity, cause and type of treatment required. The dental team will be the best to advise on this, but generally most orthodontic treatments will take at least 1-2 years.

Regain your smile at the Windsor Centre for Advanced Dentistry

If your protruding teeth are stopping you from embracing your smile, find out how we can help you by visiting our contact page. We’ll arrange a first appointment with you to help understand the causes and treatment necessary and get you started on your journey to your perfect smile.

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