young man looking at his crooked teeth in mirror

If your teeth are crooked, overlap, or have any other misalignment issues, you may be at a higher risk of developing other common dental issues. Cleaning misaligned teeth can be difficult because there are often nooks and crannies that bacteria can easily become trapped in, and tooth decay is a result.

If you continuously hear the words tooth decay, cavities, and gingivitis from your dentist during your routine cleanings and exams, it may be time to consider straightening your teeth for more than just vanity reasons.

How Crowded Teeth Cause Dental Problems

Common alignment issues like overcrowding, excessively spaced teeth, or other misalignment issues can lead to teeth that wear unevenly over time. Also, misalignment can lead to severe and irreversible dental issues like weakening teeth and even falling out. The most common issues associated with misalignment include excessive tooth wear, frequent headaches, jaw pain, and an increase in tooth decay and gum disease.

Other notable issues you may experience because of misalignment include:

Difficulty in cleaning teeth properly

Overlapping or crowded teeth make it difficult to properly clean all surfaces of your teeth with a standard toothbrush and dental floss.

Increased tooth wear 

When your bite doesn’t correctly align, this causes your teeth to wear unevenly, decreasing your natural enamel and requiring dental treatments to replace the surfaces of your teeth.

Interference with proper chewing

If your teeth do not align when biting down, you may favor chewing on one side over the other, causing interference with proper chewing on both sides of the mouth.

Jaw muscle strain

Excessive strain on your teeth, jaws, and jaw muscles, increasing the risk of breaking a tooth.

Feeling self-conscious

Those with crooked teeth tend to feel self-conscious of their smile and may choose to hide it with their lips or hands when smiling.

The Connection Between Poor Alignment and TMJ

Suffer from chronic jaw pain can result in frustrating and life-altering discomfort. Many patients don’t initially realize that jaw dysfunction and discomfort can stem from many things, including misaligned teeth.

Other common factors that often lead to TMJ are:

  • Misaligned teeth that put additional pressure on the jaw muscles to perform daily routines such as eating or speaking.
  • A cavity that has gone untreated and has caused an abscess from lack of dental care.
  • Stress that causes the particularly sensitive jaw area to be tense.
  • Suffering an injury to the jaw or other physical damage to the jaw components.
  • Chronic clenching and grinding from bruxism that places an excessive amount of pressure on the jaw that makes it feel tired and sore.

Your Teeth Impact Your Overall Health, Too

While regaining your self-confidence is reason enough to seek out a straighter smile, many other health-related reasons make straight teeth important for a person’s overall being.

Crooked teeth can affect your overall healthy by:

  • Enabling bacteria from tooth decay and gum disease to enter the bloodstream. These infections can later lead to severe ailments like heart disease, diabetes, pneumonia, and stroke.
  • Increasing the risk for bacteria to form in deep pockets of the gums. Bad breath, general soreness, sensitivity, and tooth loss can be a result of gum disease.

A smile is one of the first things others notice about you. If you struggle with the crooked appearance of your teeth, it’s time to take back your self-confidence. Contact Dr. Baudean today to learn more about the many benefits of straightening your teeth and which treatments we recommend for your specific alignment issues.