Did You Know Crooked Teeth Can Cause Problems?
Many children and adults have crooked teeth and have no idea that they can cause all sorts of oral and overall health problems. Even those with straight-looking teeth may have a misaligned bite, where the upper and lower jaws don't meet properly when the mouth is closed.
The problem with crooked teeth, especially if overcrowded, is that it is very difficult to clean overlapping surfaces effectively. It can also be troublesome to floss properly. If plaque builds up over time this can result in tooth decay, leading to further painful dental problems.
Misaligned teeth can also be a risk factor for gum disease, as the uneven pressure applied by an uneven bite can result in excessive stress on gum tissue, resulting in inflammation. Severe gum disease then results in receding gums and potential tooth loss.
Another common dental problem seen with crooked teeth is tooth sensitivity due to uneven pressure wearing down the protective enamel. Eventually, the enamel layer is so worn that the soft dentin layer of the teeth is exposed, meaning that any hot or cold temperatures are directly conducted to the nerves of the tooth. This can be very painful, leading to people avoiding any food and drink that causes sensitivity.
Crooked teeth or a misaligned bite can cause digestive system problems, as ineffective chewing of food means the food isn't broken down as much as it should be before it enters the stomach. Digestive symptoms may include cramping, bloating, wind and even development of stomach ulcers.
Pain is another common symptom of a misaligned bite. The jaw muscles attempt to overcompensate, resulting in stress on the temperomandibular joint (jaw joint). As well as jaw pain, this can also lead to earache, ear infections, facial pain and headaches. Pain may even radiate to the neck, shoulders and upper back.
If you have any of these symptoms, see your doctor. Also talk to your dentist, as you may have a misaligned bite.
Crooked teeth and a misaligned bite can easily be corrected with orthodontic treatment such as braces. Even if your teeth look straight, your dentist will be able to ascertain if you have a misaligned bite.
Getting your child or your own crooked teeth straightened could improve your dental and overall health as well as your appearance and confidence!