Crooked teeth affect far more than your appearance. The American Dental Association has confirmed that crooked teeth can be detrimental to your overall dental health. Here are seven ways that crooked teeth affect your oral health.
1. Red, Swollen Gums
Crooked teeth can lead to red, swollen gums. Gum health is as much a part of oral health as your teeth. When you have crooked teeth, the part of the tooth that you can’t see—that is hidden beneath the gum line—is crooked, too. This crookedness can lead to gum irritation and inflammation, which shows itself as red and swollen gums. When your gums are in this sensitive condition, you can’t properly clean teeth along the gum line, which further increases the odds of poor oral health.
2. Interference with Proper Chewing
It’s challenging or impossible to chew properly when you have crooked teeth. The chewing process relies on a carefully aligned jaw and teeth. Proper contact between the upper and lower teeth is essential to ensure that chewing occurs the way it should. With crooked teeth, bites of food aren’t chewed correctly. This can lead to problems with digestion and even nourishment, as well.
3. Increased Risk of Tooth Decay
The misalignment of crooked teeth can easily lead to increased risk of tooth decay. The crookedness of the teeth inhibits proper brushing and flossing, increasing the likelihood that food remains between teeth even after brushing.
4. Increased Chances of Chronic Halitosis
When you can’t brush and floss teeth efficiently, as is the case with crooked teeth, the chances of developing chronic halitosis are increased. Halitosis, or bad breath as it is commonly called, occurs as the result of poor dental hygiene, which can be a direct outcome of crooked teeth.
5. Excessive Jaw Strain and Pain
Persons with crooked teeth often unconsciously adjust their jaw movement to enable easier chewing or speaking. This constant adjustment can lead to jaw strain and pain that sometimes even gets so bad it can become a condition known as TMJ.
6. Increased Likelihood of Cracking or Breaking a Tooth
Since crooked teeth don’t fit together right, there is an increased likelihood of cracking or breaking a tooth. This happens because the person is constantly trying to readjust the position of their jaw to speak or eat. Subsequently, the inordinate connection and contact on teeth can lead to tooth fractures and chipping.
7. Progression of Gingivitis or Periodontal Disease
The poor oral hygiene that comes from having crooked teeth can quickly lead to the progression of gingivitis or periodontal disease. These two stages of teeth and gum disease are extremely serious and threatening to overall health as well as oral health. Gingivitis may be treated, but with crooked teeth, the chances of it returning are very high. Periodontal disease can ultimately lead to the need for oral surgery or even tooth loss.
If you’ve been delaying treatment for crooked teeth, it’s time to act. Getting crooked teeth fixed isn’t an act of vanity. It’s a responsible thing to do that will help to ensure you have good oral health and overall health.