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Do Straight Teeth Matter?
Your teeth are a crucial component of your mouth. They allow you to bite and chew all of your favorite foods. They help you to speak properly, allowing for effective communication. They also play a crucial role in the appearance of your smile. However, if your teeth are poorly aligned, they can have several significant effects on your life.
The Effects on Your Smile
Your smile is quite often the very first thing that others notice about you. The quality of your smile matters. In addition to affecting the appearance of your smile, misaligned teeth can have a major impact on your confidence. When you are not proud of your smile, you tend to try to hide it. Whether you give a tight-lipped grin or hide your mouth behind your hand, others take notice. Just as a beautiful smile leaves a lasting impression, a smile of misaligned teeth or self-consciousness can also leave an impression. Unfortunately, it is not usually the impression you want to leave.
Difficulties Keeping Your Teeth Clean
The alignment of your teeth can affect your ability to care for them properly. When your teeth are crooked, different areas of your teeth are harder to brush and floss effectively. Overlapping or gapped teeth are both difficult to properly clean. When these areas are not cleaned thoroughly, it can lead to a buildup of plaque and bacteria, both of which can increase your risk for developing cavities and gum disease.
Higher Risk of Tooth Damage
The alignment of your teeth matters for proper distribution of bite force. When you bite down, the pressure should be evenly distributed. However, when your teeth are crooked, this can create an uneven bite. As a result, some areas receive more pressure than others. This can increase your risk of chipping or fracturing your teeth. When these issues occur, they not only affect the appearance of your smile but can also lead to tooth infections.
Bruxism and TMD
Tooth misalignment does not just increase your risk for tooth damage. An uneven bite can also lead to bruxism or the grinding and clenching of your teeth. Bruxism can lead to excessive wear on your enamel, which also increases your risks for cavities and tooth damage. Additionally, chronic bruxism can also cause severe pain in your temporomandibular joints and your jaw. This pain can even interfere with your abilities to eat and speak.
Increased Risk of Serious Health Complications
With an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease, there is also an increased risk of other health-related complications that often do not seem linked to your mouth. In cases of infections in the teeth or advanced stages of gum disease, bacteria can enter into the bloodstream. When this happens, it is then able to travel throughout the body. This can trigger an inflammatory response that increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. You are also at a greater risk for respiratory illnesses and pregnancy complications.
What Can I Do?
Fortunately, you do not have to live with crooked teeth. If your smile, and your oral health, is affected by the alignment of your teeth, we can help. First, we conduct a thorough oral exam, during which we visually inspect your teeth and assess your bite. We also take x-rays of your mouth. Finally, we can refer you out to an orthodontist, who can provide you with the effective treatment you need to restore the alignment of your teeth and the quality of your life.
If crooked teeth are affecting your life, we can help. After an oral exam, we can refer you out to an orthodontist, who can provide you with the treatment you need. For more information, call The Elmwood Dental Group LLC at (860) 331-8748 today.