How Crooked Teeth Impact Your Oral Health
posted October 13, 2021
Did you know that nine in ten people have misaligned teeth? It’s become more and more common in this day and age, especially as modern diets have changed the way we use our jaws and facial muscles. As our faces and mouths become smaller, we’re more prone to having misaligned, overcrowded or crooked teeth. What a lot of people don’t know is that it’s not just an aesthetic problem. Crooked or misaligned teeth can affect our overall health and wellbeing as well.
While the modern age has changed the way our teeth, gums and jaw develop, there are also other factors that you may not have been aware can cause crooked teeth.
This may seem a bit obvious, but genetics largely relate to a child or teen’s dental health problems. Things like overbites, underbites and crowded teeth can be passed down each generation. That’s why visiting the dentist regularly can help you detect issues early on and plan a course of treatment.
Many people aren’t aware that their habits can actually cause crooked teeth. Habits such as nail-biting, chronic mouth breathing, and even thumb sucking as a child can cause your teeth to shift.
If you’re missing teeth, or just naturally have larger spaces between your teeth, your other teeth can start shifting into the empty gum space. One of the main causes of missing teeth is due to improper hygiene. If tooth decay and gum disease are left untreated, you can lose your teeth which, in turn, can affect your jawbone, facial structure, and your self-esteem.
If you’ve been hit in the mouth and have been left with missing, crooked, or cracked teeth, you should seek dental care as soon as possible. A facial injury, when left untreated, can affect more than just your teeth. It can eventually impact your health and wellbeing, too.
Crooked teeth don’t just affect the appearance of your smile. They can actually affect how well you clean your teeth. When it comes to brushing and flossing, you can’t easily reach all the necessary pockets to remove tartar and food particles, leaving you susceptible to periodontal disease. And, did you know that people with crooked teeth are more prone to suffering from obstructive sleep apnea? Obstructive sleep apnea is when your throat muscles block your airway while you sleep, causing you to snore loudly, wake up frequently throughout the night, have high blood pressure, and suffer from chronic headaches. Unfortunately, there are even more complications that can arise.
Crooked teeth can actually put a lot of stress on your jawbone, gums, and jaw muscles, resulting in you suffering from regular headaches and not being able to chew correctly.
As mentioned above, crooked teeth can make it harder to actually clean your teeth properly, resulting in cavities and gum disease. If you can’t clean between your crooked teeth properly, food particles and bacteria will form into hard tartar and eat away at your gums and tooth enamel the longer it stays there. This is also why dentists encourage getting regular cleanings every 6 months. If infected teeth or gums are left untreated, gum disease can settle in which, in turn, can make you lose your teeth and develop even further health problems. Your dentist will be able to stay on top of early signs of decay and gum disease and suggest the best ways for you to fix your crooked teeth.
Luckily, resolving crooked or crowded teeth can be easy, especially if you make regular trips to the dentist and don’t have poor dental care habits. One of the best solutions to correct crooked teeth is orthodontic treatment which has proven to be effective for many, many years.
Metal braces were actually first created in 1728! They’re typically suggested for patients with crooked teeth between the ages of 8 and 14 when their head and mouth are still growing and more prone to shifting into place. Each metal bracket is bonded to the front of each tooth and attached by a metal wire. How long you have to wear braces will depend on your treatment plan and the issues you have such as misaligned teeth, large gaps, overbites, underbites, etc., however, typically treatment lasts anywhere from 18-24 months.
Children, teens and adults nowadays are opting for a more invisible way to straighten and beautify their smiles. This can be done with Invisalign® clear aligners, virtually invisible and removable trays that are comfortable, custom made, and have the potential to work in half the time as traditional braces. While straightening teeth can take longer for adults that are no longer going through growth spurts, Invisalign® clear aligners are a great option for working professionals who want to feel more confident in their smile without the noticeable metal brackets and wires.
Crooked teeth can cause many dental health problems, specifically tooth decay, a sore/strained jaw, chewing and digestion issues, periodontal disease, and more. Speak to your dentist today about improving your smile with orthodontic or cosmetic treatment. You’re sure to feel more confident and proud of your smile and the state of your oral health!