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A smiling woman placing an Invisalign aligner in her mouth.

Does Having Straight Teeth Matter?

It’s common for children or even adults to see braces and orthodontic treatment as a purely cosmetic process. While it’s true that braces can give you a great smile, they do even more by preventing minor to severe issues for your oral health. The next time you wonder “Does having straight teeth matter,” consider these impacts that misaligned teeth can have on your health!

How Misaligned Teeth Impact Your Oral Health

Difficulties Cleaning Your Teeth

If you’ve ever had a cavity, you know how painful it can be. It’s likely that your cavity was caused by missing a surface on your teeth when you brushed and flossed. Even with properly aligned teeth, it’s common for children or adults to miss critical spots on their teeth during daily dental care routines.

When your teeth are misaligned, it increases the difficulty of brushing and flossing every surface in your mouth. Teeth that are pressed against each other or crooked will create gaps that are easy for sugars and bacteria to reach, but not your toothbrush. You may even have trouble spotting decay as it forms!

With the rate of cavities as high as it is, it’s a major risk to skip orthodontic treatment when your dentist or orthodontist recommends it.

Gum Disease

This leads to another problem, one which can be even more harmful: an increased chance of gum disease. Crooked teeth can sit awkwardly against your gums, creating areas where they aren’t as tightly wrapped around your tooth. These additional pockets are the perfect hiding place for bacteria.

Like your teeth, the increased difficulty in cleaning these bacteria away will almost certainly lead to chronic decay and eventual gum disease. Gum disease isn’t always apparent without a trip to the dentist – which makes it particularly dangerous to your health!

Bad Breath

With difficult to clean teeth and a higher chance of developing gum disease, your chances of developing chronic bad breath increase too. Lingering bacteria in your mouth is the primary contributor of chronic halitosis.

When you can’t brush key surfaces in your mouth, food particles and bacteria that grow there have an easier time living and growing. Eventually, you may come to notice a persistent bad breath that even brushing won’t get rid of – because you can’t clean every surface.

Increased Chance of Health Issues

Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. The increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease from misaligned teeth can lead to even more issues that extend past your mouth. Your body’s immune system has to respond to plaque and bacteria in your mouth that’s causing gum disease, which can have secondary effects on your entire body.

Here are some of the most common health risks associated with gum disease:

  • Heart Disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Respiratory Issues
  • Risks During Pregnancy

Gum disease, as it develops into periodontal disease, can exacerbate existing health issues like diabetes as well. While all of the connections aren’t fully understood, it’s clear that your dental health is linked to your overall health. The progression of risks from ignoring misaligned teeth to developing these issues means that you should take your dental care seriously, especially when you’re recommended to visit an orthodontist!

Accelerated Tooth Wear & Chewing Problems

A perfectly aligned smile allows your teeth an ideal fit with each other. When your teeth are crooked, they will rub against each other in unusual ways. Like those with bruxism, this additional contact can cause them to erode the enamel and leave your teeth vulnerable to bacteria.

A man with jaw pain at the orthodontist

But that’s not all! The positioning of your teeth often alters the alignment of your jaw, as well. The muscles you use to chew will experience more stress. In the short-term, you’re likely to suffer jaw pains. However, in the long-term, you may need extended rehabilitation or oral surgery to correct.

Higher Risk of Tooth Injury

Do you play sports or exercise? All of these are a great case for straightening your teeth. Protruding teeth are far more likely to suffer damage during an impact or accident – which can happen even in non-contact sports!

Things like falling down, being hit by another player or hit by a ball can all knock your teeth loose. Straight teeth have the full-strength of their roots and the gums to help protect them, but crooked teeth may be naturally more susceptible to being knocked loose.

Even if they aren’t avulsed, crooked teeth are typically fractured or broken at a higher rate than straight teeth.

You Have Options for Your Orthodontic Treatment!

If you need orthodontic treatment, you may be worried about life with metal braces. There are many myths about traditional braces that simply aren’t true! They’re not the only type of braces available to you, either. We offer traditional braces, Incognito hidden braces and Invisalign too!

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Do you think you need braces? You can find out how we can help by scheduling a free consultation! Contact us online or call 440-842-8015

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