Everyone’s smile is unique. Some people love their smile as it is, and others consult their dentist on how to improve some cosmetic issues. One of the issues that many people have with their smile is crooked or misaligned teeth.
Having mildly crooked teeth is not likely to have a huge impact on your smile or oral health. However, moderate to severely crooked teeth can create more problems than those that are simple aesthetic.
Poor Oral Health
Having crooked teeth can make it difficult to clean your teeth properly. As a result, your oral hygiene routine will be ineffective in protecting you from developing dental issues. For example, brushing and flossing your teeth are methods you use to remove plaque from your teeth. This is vital for your oral health because plaque can wreak havoc on your oral and overall well-being.
Plaque is a type of harmful bacteria that grows in your mouth and sticks to every surface. The goal of brushing and flossing your teeth is to remove this bacteria before it damages your teeth and gums. However, crooked teeth can impede your ability to remove plaque.
If your teeth are not aligned, you may not be able to reach every surface of your teeth. Additionally, it can make it difficult or impossible to floss your teeth properly.
As a result, people with crooked teeth are more likely to develop tooth decay and gum disease. This is because they cannot adequately remove plaque from the surfaces of your teeth and gums.
With aligned teeth, you will strike the tops of your teeth when you close your mouth. This is how your teeth should touch each other. It reduces the chances of your teeth chipping or becoming prematurely worn. However, crooked teeth are more susceptible to damage and erosion. This is because your teeth may naturally strike parts of your teeth that shouldn’t receive a high impact.
Over time, your teeth may become worn, meaning the edges and ridges of your teeth flatten. This can impact your ability to chew your food. Additionally, worn teeth are more susceptible to tooth decay. This is because erosion damages your enamel—the protective layer of your teeth. Unfortunately, it is easier for bacteria to cause cavities.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)
With crooked teeth, it is possible for you to move your jaw in a way that your teeth don’t hurt when you chew. If you have ever bitten incorrectly, you know that it causes pain. With crooked teeth, you may do this often and not even realize it. When your jaw moves out of alignment repeatedly, it can cause damage to the joint. Over time, you can develop a condition called temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
TMJ can begin as a popping or clicking sensation in your jaw joint. However, it can continue to progress and cause problems if you do not seek treatment. For example, it is common for patients with TMJ to complain of frequent headaches. This is because TMJ can make the muscles in your jaw and face tight, causing tension headaches.