You may instinctively cover your mouth when you smile or avoid grinning altogether because of crooked teeth, but that misalignment is more than unsightly. Your oral health relies on teeth that fit together and perform well. Crooked teeth often lead to a host of dental issues. Our dentists at Northfield Dental Group understand the full impact a crooked smile can have on you, physically and psychologically.
Crooked Teeth Collect More Bacteria
Crooked and overcrowded teeth create the perfect situation for bacteria to grow as those tight, hidden spaces are difficult to clean when you brush and floss. As bacteria collects, it hardens into plaque and causes cavities, snowballing into other oral health problems.
The gums become irritated, which leads to inflammation, bleeding and ultimately, gum disease. Studies have linked severe gum disease to heart disease. According to some researchers, bacteria can pass into the bloodstream from bleeding gums and affect the heart valves. This cascade of events also contributes to bad breath, and you may need more dental cleanings to maintain good oral health.
Protruding Teeth Are Prone to Damage
When teeth are misaligned, one or more crooked teeth protrude, rubbing up against the upper or lower teeth and gums. These teeth are prone to chips and wear down more than the adjacent teeth, causing tooth sensitivity due to thinning enamel. That wear and tear can even harm the jawbone and joints in the form of TMJ pain and headaches.
What’s more, these protruding teeth can impact your speech and chewing habits. The way your tongue moves in your mouth when you speak is affected by crooked teeth. If your upper and lower teeth don’t fit together properly, it can cause discomfort when you bite or chew your food.
The Psychological Effect of Crooked Teeth
When you are embarrassed by your teeth, you are less likely to flash a toothy grin in your social and work circles. Psychological studies have found that smiling lowers stress and anxiety, boosting your mood. Smiling is a social cue that makes others instinctively find you more attractive. If you’re happy with your smile, it shows.
How to Care for and Fix Crooked Teeth
If you have crooked teeth, your dentist may recommend additional dental cleanings to maintain good oral health along with everyday brushing and flossing. However, the only way to avoid the issues caused by crooked teeth is through orthodontic treatment to straighten your smile.
Contact Northfield Dental Group in West Orange today to schedule your appointment and discuss your teeth straightening options.