Many people who seek treatment for dental misalignment do so with dental aesthetics in mind. The truth is, however, that misaligned teeth can actually contribute to a number of oral health issues. Our Saint Louis dentists are here with some information about how the structure of your smile can impact your oral health in general.
The first thing to keep in mind is that a crooked or crowded smile is actually harder to clean than a straight smile. Those hard-to-reach spaces between crowded teeth are prime spots for plaque and tartar accumulation, both of which lead to cavities and gum disease. When your teeth are properly aligned, you’ll find that it is easier to floss, brush, and use mouthwash effectively.
Dental misalignment can also put pressure on your maxillofacial structure as a whole. Consider this: your smile is connected in structure and function to your neck, jaw, and skull. So, when something goes wrong with your teeth, it can set off a chain reaction of maxillofacial discomfort and dysfunction.
If your top and bottom bite surfaces do not come together in healthy alignment, your temporomandibular joints—the joints that connect your skull to your lower jaw—can become damaged and irritated. You may find that your jaw starts to pop or click, and that you experience pain. Over time, TMJ issues can even limit your jaw mobility.
Many patients suffer from dental misalignment unconsciously change how they chew and bite in order to accommodate for the structural imbalance. This causes certain teeth to wear down unevenly and prematurely.
The good news is that many of these issues can be alleviated by improving the patient’s dental alignment and bite surfaces. The sooner that these structural issues are addressed, the better it is for the patient’s dental prognosis.
Our Saint Louis dentists are happy to give you more information about dental alignment and treatment options. Give us a call to get started!