Why treating your crooked teeth can save your smile?
To many people, a beautiful smile means teeth that are straight and perfectly aligned. Unfortunately, this is a feature that very few of us are naturally born with. Instead, teeth that are twisted, gapped and crooked are extremely common, and so dentists across the country are regularly inundated with requests for cosmetic orthodontic treatment to give patients a straighter, more desirable smile.
However, it may surprise you to know that the appearance of your smile is not the only thing affected by crooked teeth. Studies undertaken by the American Dental Association (ADA) have shown that crooked teeth can have a seriously detrimental impact on your dental and overall health and wellbeing.
What causes crooked teeth?
The alignment of teeth is largely down to genetics. People who have small jaws often find that they simply don’t have enough space to accommodate all their teeth. Teeth naturally shift to take up the space available to them. This means that while the earliest ones to erupt may come through straight, later teeth may come through twisted or crooked, fitting into any gap that they can find. Sometimes teeth even grow behind one another because there simply isn’t room for them!
Habits can also play a large part in the development of teeth. Thumb-sucking, lip sucking, excessive pacifier use and chewing objects can all affect the growth of your teeth, which can cause teeth to shift inaccurately and become crooked.
Problems caused by crooked teeth
Crooked teeth can impact on the health of your teeth and mouth, as well as having an effect on your overall wellbeing. Let’s take a look at three of the problems caused or contributed to by crooked teeth.
Gum disease is caused by the bacteria on our teeth forming plaque, which begins along the gum line. When this happens, the gums become red, swollen and can bleed. Without treatment, the gums can pull away from the teeth creating more room for bacteria to grow.
Gum disease is substantially more common in patients who have crooked teeth.
Poor dental health
One of the reasons that gum disease is more prevalent in patients with crooked teeth is because their positioning makes them much harder to clean. Even the best toothbrushes and most careful flossing can miss the tiny gaps and crevices caused by crooked teeth, and havens for bacteria growth.
In some cases, crooked teeth cause such extensive decay that extracting the affected teeth is the best solution to preserve the patient’s overall oral health.
Poor cleaning can result in lingering, smelly bacteria in the mouth, giving the patient unsavoury smelling breath. This can be extremely unpleasant and affect the taste of the food and drink that the patient consumes.
How can crooked teeth affect my overall health?
As we have discovered, crooked teeth dramatically impact upon a person’s ability to care for their teeth and gums. Invariably this means that some bacteria will accumulate over time, and this can cause a whole range of dental problems from gum disease to serious infections.
Studies undertaken by the ADA have shown undisputable evidence linking oral infections caused by increased levels of oral bacteria may lead to serious general health problems, including diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, stroke and even some cancers.
How can I treat my crooked teeth?
There are several different treatment options that can correct crooked teeth and save your smile. Which is right for you will be determined by attending a consultation appointment with your dentist.
Conventional teeth straightening methods required the patient to wear an orthodontic brace. These devices, attached to your teeth, use a combination of wires and bands to gently guide the patient’s teeth to the desired position. While orthodontic braces are still available today, many patients are now opting for a revolutionary new treatment known as Invisalign®.
The Invisalign® treatment program is a series of clear, plastic aligners which are worn over the patient’s teeth to guide them to their new position. Invisalign® is a highly successful alternative to traditional orthodontic braces, and has a number of unique benefits.
Dr. Joseph Khalil and Dr. Ray Cho will be happy to discuss both Invisalign® and orthodontic braces with you to find the best solution for your crooked teeth.