Everyone agrees that having straight teeth gives you a nicer and more confident smile. But the benefits of having properly aligned teeth can go further than this, and actually improve your overall dental health.
Tooth decay and gum disease are caused by bacteria. Crooked teeth can harbour an increased number of this bacteria, creating an unhealthy mouth and leading to other problems such as bad breath, mouth ulcers, inflamed and bleeding gums, and possible eventual tooth loss. There is evidence that shows a link between oral infections and other medical problems such as heart disease, stroke, pneumonia and diabetes. So at the end of the day, if you’re taking good care of your teeth, you’re taking good care of the rest of your body.
HEALTHIER TEETH AND GUMS
Swollen, inflamed and red gums are often caused by teeth that are crowded or too widely spaced. Over a longer period of time, this can cause more significant problems such as periodontal disease. When teeth are straight, the gums fit more securely around the them. This then protects your teeth against potential periodontal problems.
Crowded and overlapped teeth are quite difficult to keep clean. Not only does plaque and bacteria – and eventually tooth decay – build up in these areas, but the problem is exacerbated as it is also difficult to floss and clean. Overlapped teeth have a much higher chance of having dental decay, hence requiring more fillings.
PROTECT YOUR TEETH
Misaligned teeth do not bite against each other in the correct way. This can cause abnormal wear patterns on the enamel of the teeth over time. Eventually, it can lead to inefficient chewing function and an increased amount of wear of tooth enamel. Excessive loss of tooth enamel will need to be built up again to help protect the remaining tooth structure and jaw function. Crowded or protruded teeth are also more likely to be damaged in the event of an accident.
PREVENT JAW AND NECK PAIN
Teeth that are not straight can place different stress on the gums and bones where the roots are embedded. The jaws may also need to change their position to accommodate the change of bite, creating tension in the muscles of the jaw and neck. Chronic headaches or neck pain can be alleviated by correcting the alignment of teeth and jaws.
Thankfully, these days there are many easy ways to straighten crowded teeth. Many adults are worried about the look of braces, or have already had them as teenagers. There are now several aesthetic ways to align teeth, including braces on the inside, white braces, and of course clear aligners, such as Invisalign.
Most of these options are fast, taking as short as three to four months in many cases. This also means it is quick and easy to care for your teeth and gums for this shorter period of time, while gaining the confidence to smile.
To find out which option is best for your smile, have a consultation with Dr Nidhi Berera. Keep in mind that straightening your teeth will improve more than just your smile.
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