October 31, 2014 - Dental Tips and Advice
Do you have crooked teeth? Crooked teeth, or what dentists call malocclusion, is a condition where the teeth are not in an ideal position. Left untreated, malocclusion leads to many dental problems, including: periodontal disease, premature tooth wear and chipping, unnatural stresses to the teeth and jaw joints, as well as other health concerns.
Crooked teeth trap food and make brushing and flossing difficult and less effective. As a result, plaque with harmful bacteria attaches to the tooth surface and hardens into calculus, causing gum inflammation and tissue shrinkage. Gum shrinkage, or recession, exposes root surfaces in turn predisposing the teeth to sensitivity to cold and sweet food, root decay, and increased wear from brushing. If left untreated, periodontal disease progresses to bone loss, tooth mobility, and eventually tooth loss.
Tooth Wear and Jaw Problems
Teeth that are not in harmony when biting together cause abnormal stresses on the teeth and jaw joints. Over time the teeth experience premature wear, chipping, and notches at the gum line called abfractions. Continued wear weakens the teeth, which may fracture, consequently needing a root canal, crown, or even needing to be extracted. Jaw joints subjected to abnormal pressure are more likely to develop chronic problems, such as stiffness and trouble opening and closing.
There are clear associations between periodontitis and an increased risk of medical complications including stroke, diabetes, respiratory problems, osteoporosis, and adverse pregnancy outcomes such as low birth weight and pretermed babies. Increased bacterial and plaque deposit in the mouth travel through the bloodstream and deposit in the coronary arteries, causing thickening or atherosclerosis. Our body’s immune response to plaque and calculus creates an abundance of inflammatory cells that contributes to damages in the coronary arteries, as well as creating an elevated systemic inflammatory state that also impacts negatively on the rest of the body.
Crooked teeth come in different forms. Even if your teeth appear straight, watch out for these different types of malocclusion.
1) A deep bite increases the wear and tear of the front teeth and may also traumatize the palate.
2) Flared front teeth are more likely to chip and fracture.
It is possible to treat malocclusion through orthodontic treatment, with either braces or Invisalign. Braces are metal brackets and wires glued onto the teeth to move the teeth during treatments, while Invisalign uses removable trays that gently move teeth over time. While Invisalign is more esthetic and comfortable, it requires patient compliance to allow treatment – teeth are only moving when the trays are being worn! Braces are often the choice of treatment in teenagers but it produces significant discomfort during treatment; it is also more difficult to clean under the braces effectively, which increases caries risk. Invisalign trays on the other hand allow regular hygiene practices and are accompanied by only minor soreness. Read here for more information on Invisalign.
At Centro Dental, we are committed to recommending the best treatment for your teeth. Straighter teeth mean healthier teeth, and the benefits are life-long. Orthodontic treatment is possible at any age – it is never too late to start investing in your teeth. Our doctors are Invisalign®-certified and Preferred Providers of this innovative technology and will be happy to give you an individualized consultation on how you may be a candidate for orthodontic treatment. Thanks for reading and keep smiling!