When your mouth gets overcrowded, your teeth might get crooked. Crooked teeth are not only an aesthetic concern, it can lead to health issues as well. Your jaws might also be out of alignment, which can be another possible cause of crooked teeth. Crooked teeth can appear in children as young as five years old, and are often caused by childhood habits involving the mouth such as thumb sucking, mouth breathing, and difficulty swallowing. Here are some other issues that can be aggravated by the presence of poorly aligned teeth: gum disease, cleaning troubles, weakened enamel, trouble speaking and chewing, and effects on mental and physical health.
One of the most concerning problems posed by crooked teeth is the potential for developing gum disease. The gums that are closest to the crooked teeth are the most affected. Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease. Bacteria buildup leads to the gums weakening. When your gums can’t fit your teeth properly, there is more room for bacteria in your mouth to thrive.
Straighter teeth are easier to clean. The gums are easier to reach and the brush can wipe away buildups such as plaque and tartar. Of course, clearing away bacteria is made more difficult when teeth aren’t straight. As enthusiastically as you may brush and floss, it won’t be enough. Too much bacteria will damage the teeth and wear away at their enamel.
Weakened Tooth Enamel
When teeth are squeezed together, they are more prone to damage from friction. This friction causes the enamel to weaken when it doesn’t have to. Lower teeth might also press against upper teeth. Weakened enamel makes it more likely that teeth will crack if an accident happens.
Trouble Speaking and Chewing
Unfortunately, along with aesthetic problems, crooked teeth can smell bad as well. Part of the problem can be jaw problems. A jaw that is out of alignment will make speaking and chewing more difficult than they need to be. Crooked teeth will also interfere with these two basic mouth functions. An inability to chew properly might leave more food residue in your mouth that can cause lingering bad breath that can’t be made to go away.
Effects on Mental and Physical Health
Another troubling aspect of crooked teeth is that they affect your mental and physical health. Having a healthier smile typically means you will smile more often. Smiling helps you feel better because it can decrease stress levels and make your brain work better. With teeth that are less than perfect, you may not want to smile often, if at all. Bacteria buildup in the mouth can also lead to more severe health problems elsewhere in your body. For instance, you could develop heart disease, develop diabetes, or see the risk of a stroke increase.
Improve Your Smile with Annapolis Dental Care!
Whether you need a regular check-up or a tooth extracted, Annapolis Dental Center has the expertise and compassion to work with you on improving your oral health. Your comfort and health are our top priorities and so we go above and beyond to make our patients happy and to provide the highest quality care. To set up an appointment today, please give us a call at 410-571-5014 or visit us online. For more oral health tips for you and your family follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Yelp!