You already know that crooked teeth can affect your appearance, and possibly your self-image. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Orthodontic Science found that adolescents with crooked teeth—especially those with very crooked teeth—reported lower self-esteem. But having crooked teeth is more than an appearance issue. These crooked teeth problems can affect your overall health and welfare.
“Misaligned teeth, known as malocclusion, can lead to many health issues. These include grinding of the teeth—known as bruxism,” Yvonne King, BDSc, an Australian aesthetic dentist, tells WebMD Connect to Care.
Tooth grinding can damage the teeth and jaw. According to Cedars-Sinai, bruxism can also result in:
- Tooth pain
- Tooth breakage
Bruxism can also contribute to temporomandibular disorders, such as TMJ syndrome. These disorders cause muscle issues in the jaws and dental joints. They can also result in chewing problems, jaw mobility issues, and pain that radiates to the temples and ears.
Tooth Decay and Tooth Loss
Crooked teeth are a risk factor for tooth decay. This is because misaligned teeth are more difficult to brush and floss.
Other issues associated with crooked teeth, such as frequent grinding, may further damage the teeth and make them more susceptible to cavities. In some cases, this can even cause the teeth to fall out.
Chronic Health Problems
Dental health issues, especially tooth decay and gum disease, are risk factors for serious health problems outside of the mouth. People with oral health issues may have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, according to a 2019 study published in Preventing Chronic Disease.
Untreated cavities can cause serious infections, including tooth abscesses. In the absence of intervention, these infections may spread—endangering your health and even threatening your life.
Poor Mental Health
Your smile affects your appearance, and it may also change how people perceive you. Teenagers with crooked teeth might struggle with low self-esteem. This could make it harder to feel confident at school or with peers.
A 2017 study published in the Journal of Oral Rehabilitation found that teenagers often face online bullying because of dental issues. This can affect their psychological well-being, social life, and relationships with friends.
Straightening your teeth can help you save money and your health. Treating a tooth infection or abscess can cost hundreds of dollars, while repairing a broken tooth or multiple broken teeth can cost thousands.
Correcting dental issues before they spiral out of control can save money that you could spend on improving your overall health.
Start your journey to a more confident smile today!
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