Are your teeth misaligned and crooked? If so, your dentist has probably recommend that you get braces or Invisalign. This treatment will leave you with a beautiful smile, of course, but it will also help prevent a number of other dental problems that are more common in those with misaligned smiles.
When your teeth are not aligned properly, there may be pockets between your teeth and gums that are hard to clean. You might also struggle to floss between certain teeth if they're positioned next to one another in an abnormal way. These issues can lead to gum disease. Not only can gum disease cause sore and bloody gums, but it can also lead to tooth loss down the road. Your dentist can treat gum disease with antibiotics and deep cleaning procedures, but if your teeth are crooked, it's likely to just keep coming back.
Misaligned teeth often press on one another. This pressure can break down the tooth enamel, which makes it more susceptible to decay when oral bacteria are present. Since the same oral bacteria cause tooth decay and gum disease, a combination of weak enamel and gum disease can eventually lead to tooth decay. If tooth decay is caught early, it can be treated with a filling, but more excessive decay may require a crown or even removing the tooth entirely.
Your TMJ, or temporomandibular joints, are the joints between your lower jaw and the bones that forms the portions of your skull by your ears. When your teeth are out of alignment, you may have an abnormal chewing pattern and you may hold your jaw in a way that puts strain on these joints. This can lead to ongoing pain and stiffness, known as TMJ pain. TMJ pain can be quite debilitating, making it hard to chew and talk. Having your teeth straightened before you begin suffering from jaw problems is wise, since the treatments for TMJ pain tend to manage the pain but not actually address the underlying problem.
If your dentist is recommending that you have your teeth straightened, it's important to recognize that doing so is in your best interest for health reasons – not just for your looks. Talk to your dentist, like David Jackson, DDS, about less invasive, more comfortable tooth straightening methods like clear braces and Invisalign. Straightening your teeth is not as big of an endeavor as it used to be; with these treatments you can have a better smile with less hassle.