Many people grow concerned over the appearance of crooked teeth. Most people do not realize the ways that misaligned teeth can affect overall oral health. We’ll look at some examples of problems that crooked teeth can cause and explain why orthodontics is not only a cosmetic option.
When teeth are misaligned or crowded, they often do not meet top to bottom properly either. Teeth that are straight and in the right position usually fit with the opposing arch like a puzzle. When teeth do not meet properly when chewing, it can be difficult to eat the foods we love!
Strain/Problems with TMJ
Malocclusion is the improper positioning of teeth when jaws are closed. When crooked teeth cause malocclusion, this strains the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), or jaw joint. Long term strain on the TMJ causes pain and damage to the joint resulting in chronic problems.
Higher risk of tooth fracture and increased wear
When teeth do not line up properly, some teeth receive more pressure with day to day chewing or nighttime grinding. When occlusal forces are not evenly distributed, this can result in broken or worn down teeth.
Teeth that overlap or are very tight together make cleaning more difficult. More plaque accumulates where teeth are crooked, making it easy to miss some areas with our toothbrush. Crowding also makes it more challenging to floss which usually leads to lack of flossing all together.
Our teeth play an important role in speech and articulation. When teeth are crooked and misaligned, this can cause a lisp or even whistling. Our lips cannot always come together properly when crooked teeth are in the way. Additionally, our tongue may have difficulty moving the way it should when speaking if teeth are misaligned or crowded.
The staff at Adams and Cheek Dentistry is always happy to answer any questions about crooked teeth, malocclusion, or the need for orthodontic referrals. Orthodontics, or braces, is not always necessary for patients with crooked teeth. However, there is more to orthodontic needs than making teeth look pretty. Please give us a call with any questions at 919.866.1360 or click here with questions or to schedule an appointment.