It’s not surprising that the main reason many people opt for orthodontic treatment is to repair a crooked smile that they dread showing to anyone. However, not everyone is image-conscious enough to go through the time and effort of having dental braces to renovate their appearance, instead being content to live with uneven teeth.
These people might feel different if they realised that the benefits of orthodontic treatment are not just cosmetic. Misaligned teeth can also result in a range of health issues, which range from mildly unpleasant to potentially very serious.
Keep reading to find out about five of the most frequent issues a misaligned smile can cause.
Gingivitis, the technical term for gum disease, is caused by plaque build-up formed when bacteria is allowed to linger in your mouth. Plaque often develops on your teeth along the gumline which is how it leads to gingivitis. If not treated effectively, the disease can develop into the more serious periodontitis, which in extreme cases can lead to tooth loss. If your teeth are misaligned, more of your gums are likely to be exposed in your mouth, which makes gum disease happen more rapidly and easily.
Sometimes you know why you’re breath smells bad – eating food containing lots of garlic, or smoking a cigarette for example. But if your mouth is giving off an unpleasant pong for no clear reason, it’s usually caused by a build of bacteria. Crooked teeth are much harder to clean effectively than an evenly aligned smile, as there are more places for bacteria to hide that are difficult for your toothbrush and to reach.
If your teeth are crowded or misaligned, this can cause them to protrude further and in abnormal directions. This in turn can cause teeth in your lower jaw to rub against those in your upper jaw, and vice versa. The abrasion wears away the enamel layer of your teeth, exposing the sensitive inner layer of your teeth called dentine. Not only can this cause you severe dental pain, but it also makes tooth decay much more likely to occur.
Ever heard the phrase “there’s safety in numbers”? Well, it’s the same with your teeth. Protruding or misaligned teeth are generally less stable than evenly distributed teeth, as they don’t have nearly as much support from other teeth around them. Upper teeth that stick out further than normal are also far more prone to becoming cracked and chipped, which is not only painful but also often tricky to repair.
Impact on your general health
As has been demonstrated in the previous four entries on this list, misaligned teeth can have a detrimental impact on your oral health in a number of ways. What you may not realise, however, is that this can also have a knock-on effect on your overall health and wellbeing. Oral disease and infection caused by bacteria has been linked to an increased likelihood of developing such serious medical issues as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and pneumonia.
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