Have you been postponing your teeth straightening? The effects of crooked teeth do not end with your smile. Crooked teeth can also affect your gums, jaw bone, and even your mental well-being. Here are four common consequences of untreated crooked teeth.
If you have crooked teeth, it may be difficult to clean all the surfaces of your teeth with a brush or floss.
“Even mouthwash has difficulty getting to all the areas to keep your plaque and bacteria levels down. Increased bacteria mean increased infection and yes, increased cavities,” Casey Lau, DDS, co-founder of ELIMS, tells WebMD Connect to Care.
Straightening your teeth can make them easier to clean, help prevent cavities, and promote general and dental health improvements.
Another possible consequence of crooked teeth that are difficult to clean is gingivitis. According to Cleveland Clinic, gingivitis is an early form of gum disease that results from bacteria-heavy deposits of plaque on the gumline. Left unaddressed, it can progress to the more serious form of gum disease known as periodontitis.
“It is well known that crowded teeth can lead to gingivitis and even periodontitis. This is a condition where you have an infection of the gums and, in more severe cases, infection and loss of alveolar bone,” Lau says. The alveolar bone plays an essential role in keeping your teeth in place, so damaging it could have serious consequences for your dental health.
In fact, periodontitis is known to cause tooth loss, receding gums, and a misaligned bite.
Low Self-Esteem and Confidence
According to the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, crooked teeth and misaligned bites can negatively affect your mental well-being. This is especially true for children and teens who are frequently teased about their teeth by their peers. Crooked teeth may also make you feel less attractive and less confident, which can damage the ways you communicate with others.
“A lot of my patients looking for a straighter smile struggle with confidence because of the crowding or spacing in their teeth,” Payam Ataii, DMD, a dentist at Laguna Dental Center, tells WebMD Connect to Care. “It’s amazing to see how much more confident they are once they achieve that straighter smile; they smile more and some even have amazing stories [about] how they were able to further their career [and] love life.”
Chipping or Breakage of Teeth
According to the American Association of Orthodontists, protruding teeth carry a higher risk of injury or breakage. This is especially true of protruding front teeth. An improper bite may also cause problems like increased wear of teeth, teeth grinding, and chipping of teeth.
“Crooked teeth will eventually cause chips and breaks, since the teeth lose their proper structure and support. Simply biting into the food can cause a fracture,” Mahnaz Rashti, DDS, a periodontist in Beverly Hills, tells WebMD Connect to Care.
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