Usually when a dentist recommends braces, it is not only to help create a new smile but to also improve your overall health! Crooked teeth or malocclusion affects 74% of American adults! If left untreated, crooked teeth can cause stress on your gums and jaw. This can lead to GINGIVITIS (cue thunder and scary music!) and periodontitis. Additionally, crooked teeth can create abnormal amounts of stress in your teeth and jaws over time. Crooked teeth can affect your bite, creating unnatural stress and pressure leading to premature wear. A ‘bad bite’, can create some distressing pain in your jaw line, ear and even give you head aches!
Healthy, straight teeth will last a lot longer and you are likely to need less costly dental care in the future. With crooked teeth, your gum line begins to develop periodontal pockets making it harder to remove plaque and bacteria. Bacteria that is not properly removed will multiply and eventually trigger periodontal disease. If left untreated, this will lead to chronic infection and possibly tooth loss. Bacteria from these infections can invade your blood vessels and damage cells that line your coronary arteries, increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Now remember that no one has perfectly straight teeth. And unless you have an excessive overbite or deepbite, you don’t need to worry about developing gum disease from your slightly ‘crooked’ teeth. But remember that problems in the oral cavity are best treated in the early stages. If you think you may need orthodontics, don’t hesitate to ask your dentist at your next visit!
By the way, have you scheduled your 6 month checkup yet?
–Mike Schwuchow, Junior, Pre-Dentistry