Growing up, I would see a few of my classmates get braces here and there. I always assumed that the kids who ended up getting braces had severe tooth problems that needed serious intervention. At the time, it was almost unheard of to see an adult that had braces. Over time, it became more common for teenagers and eventually adults to get orthodontic treatment done. Before entering the dental industry, I never realized how malocclusion, which literally means a bad bite, affects our teeth and overall health. It is also surprising that it is not until just recently, dentists and dental teams started educating patients on the benefits of fixing misaligned teeth. Earlier the quest of having straight teeth was considered a cosmetic procedure and not a necessity. There needs to be a complete mindset shift among those in the dental industry and the general population to know that crooked/misaligned teeth are a disease to be taken as serious, if not even more serious, than you would a cavity or a painful tooth. Misaligned teeth can cause many dental issues such as cavities, bad breath, gum disease, tooth wear, broken teeth, headaches, and TMJ problems (pain in the Jaw). Accordingly, in this blog, we will examine how misaligned teeth lead to these dental problems.
1. Cavities, gum disease, and bad breath
If you have crooked teeth, you are prone to gum disease and cavities because it is way more difficult to clean between crowded teeth versus cleaning between straight teeth. The inability to clean between teeth causes plaque to build up between teeth and promotes harmful bacteria’s multiplication. Gum disease has been linked to the following health conditions also:
1. Cardiovascular disease
2. Diabetes mellitus
3. Preterm low birth weight
Since misaligned teeth are also prone to harbor bacteria, this can lead to pretty bad breath also.
2. Tooth wear and Tooth Breakage
Teeth that do not fit together the way they are meant to will constantly bang, collide and crash into each other either during eating or at rest.
Earlier on, when we are younger, we will either not see the effects or see very minimal effects of the teeth colliding into each other; however, this constant trauma to the teeth will cause damage to teeth over time, and you will eventually start seeing things such as wearing down, notching, cracking, and or eventual tooth breakage.
3. TMJ and headaches
Pressure on your jaw muscles caused by your teeth constantly rubbing together can lead to frequent, excruciating headaches and TMJ disorders. Warn teeth also cause stress on your jaw, and the hinge joint also causing jaw problems.
If you have crooked teeth and your goal is to keep your teeth forever with minimal need for extensive dental work, the solution is simple. Your first focus should be to get your teeth aligned correctly using either the traditional brackets and wires or some clear aligner therapy. An example of clear aligners used to straighten teeth is Invisalign. Invisalign has been used to treat over 5.2 million people to date, with over 130,000 dentists being Invisalign trained, making it the leader in clear aligner therapy.