Can you think of friends or relatives who almost never show their teeth when they smile? That’s probably because they are embarrassed about having crooked teeth. But the truth is that misaligned teeth are more than a cosmetic problem. They also usually mean that oral or even general health issues exist. That’s why the orthodontist in McKinney often recommends braces not only to improve the appearance of your smile, but your well being, too.
A Misaligned Smile is Harder to Keep Clean
When teeth are crooked, there are usually surfaces that overlap. Crowding may be a problem, too. These areas are more difficult to keep clean because your toothbrush cannot clean these tight spots. As a result, tooth decay may set in.
Also, misaligned teeth could irritate the lining of your cheeks, which can lead to mouth ulcers. These may be especially uncomfortable because the same teeth that caused the sore in the first place are always rubbing them.
Periodontal Disease and Crooked Teeth
One very important step in your daily oral hygiene routine is flossing. This easy task removes plaque and debris from around your teeth and along the gum line so you don’t develop periodontal (gum) disease. But flossing crooked teeth can be a challenge, because overlapping surfaces and overcrowding create spaces that are too tight for floss.
In addition, gum tissue should be snug around your teeth. However, gums may not be sealed tightly around crooked teeth. Thus, there could be spaces for bacteria and plaque to build up more easily. The inability to floss well and space between your gums and teeth can both lead to gum disease. Unfortunately, this bacterial infection has been linked to several systemic illnesses and diseases including hypertension, diabetes and stroke.
Structural Damage That Can Result from Crooked Teeth
Crooked teeth that are side by side often rub against one another. In addition, opposing teeth may not be correctly aligned. Either situation can cause tooth enamel to wear down to the point that a cavity begins.
Some people with misaligned teeth have a couple that protrude. This increases the risk of chipping or breaking a tooth. And finally, people with crooked teeth must often move their jaws unnaturally in order to chew their food. This practice can lead to facial muscle discomfort and stress on your jaw. Eventually, TMJ dysfunction—when the joints that open and close your mouth do not function properly—can develop as a result.
An orthodontist can straighten teeth and improve oral health with traditional orthodontics, clear braces or Invisalign in McKinney. If you would like to know more any one of these treatments, please schedule a consultation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Nathan Coughlin earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Southern California School of Dentistry. Afterwards, he pursued additional training to become a Diplomate of Orthodontics and today, he’s board-certified. To learn more about his orthodontic treatments or practice, contact him at (469) 331-4748 or visit his website.