While cosmetic concerns are widely known as a reason to pursue orthodontic treatment, dental professionals are actually evaluating your mouth for symptoms beyond “crooked” teeth when considering lnvisalign or traditional braces. Though we still have much to learn, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the health of your mouth affects your overall health. So how could straightening your teeth help?
Crowding and other types of malocclusion are often underlying factors contributing to gum disease. Crooked teeth are hard to keep clean. Traditional dental hygiene such as brushing and flossing may be inadequate when teeth are not positioned correctly. Simply stated, there are more areas for bacteria to hide. Gum disease is an acute or chronic infection that results in inflammation. Ongoing inflammation anywhere in your body has negative effects, and your mouth is no exception. The early stages of gum disease may seem harmless enough and can be corrected if addressed properly, but the later stages of gum disease result in irreversible bone loss around the teeth. While gum disease has many contributing factors, crowding or malocclusion is one that we may be able to control.
Your adult teeth are meant to last you many years. And in the course of those years they do a lot of work! Think about all of the hours spent chewing and in some cases clenching or grinding. Your teeth are meant to withstand all the normal forces of chewing and if your bite is aligned properly, the force will be distributed evenly across the arches. A proper bite is actually designed to help protect your teeth from wear. Often, though, certain teeth are wearing down more quickly than others. This can be for a variety of reasons but a common culprit is misaligned teeth. In these cases, fixing the bite with orthodontic treatment could help you maintain a healthy mouth with your natural teeth much longer. Additionally, some people may experience pain, discomfort, or popping in their jaw, known as temporomandibular disorder (TMD). In many cases, correcting the bite has a direct impact on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and could help alleviate these symptoms.
And last on today’s list but certainly not least is cosmetic dental concerns. Not liking the look of your teeth or smile is more than enough reason to think about straightening your teeth. The more you like the look of your smile, the more you may actually smile! And there are many health benefits to smiling.
Be sure to talk to your dentist at your next visit. Ask if they see any of these concerns in your mouth and if orthodontic treatment such as lnvisalign could be your next step to health in 2023.