If you have crooked teeth, you’re not alone. In fact, 9 in 10 people have teeth that are at least slightly misaligned . In the past, humans had larger jaws that comfortably fit all of their teeth.
Today, our jaws are smaller, which leaves less room for teeth, which often results in crowded and crooked teeth. Although crooked teeth are a nuisance for some, others won’t be bothered by their teeth’s imperfections. But what people are surprised to hear is that straight teeth don’t just give you a pretty smile—they support your dental health too! The following are a few of the long term health risks of having crooked teeth.
Crooked Teeth Can Increase Your Risk of Cavities and Gum Disease
Depending on the severity of their misalignment, crooked teeth can be difficult to clean. Even with regular brushing and flossing, plaque can remain in areas that are impossible to reach due to the position of the teeth. This leaves plaque—which is an accumulation of saliva, bacteria, and food particles—to build up in these areas.
The result? An increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease . Crooked teeth aren’t only more work to clean, but they may never truly get clean, which could leave you with irritated gum tissue or developing cavities in the spaces where your toothbrush and floss just can’t do their jobs.
You May Have Chronic Discomfort Due to TMJ or Teeth Shifting
People who have misaligned teeth may be more at risk to have a misaligned bite as well. When teeth don’t fit together properly, you may be more at risk to experience a problem with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) . These two powerful joints connect your lower jaw to your skull and give it the ability to move freely. But when they don’t work properly, they can cause chronic discomfort, including headaches, muscle aches, and even the inability to open your mouth all the way.
Other people with crooked teeth may experience accelerated teeth shifting as a result of their teeth not fitting together like they should. Teeth naturally shift somewhat over time, but with crooked teeth, you could have uneven enamel wear and teeth that shift faster than normal as a result.
Some People With Crooked Teeth Have Trouble Chewing and Speaking
For some people, chewing and speaking are a challenge with crooked teeth. Chewing food thoroughly is important for your digestion, and crooked teeth combined with a misaligned bite or TMJ disorder can make chewing uncomfortable. For others, crooked teeth make it easy to mispronounce words. It makes sense that crooked teeth can affect your self-confidence and how you’re perceived as well as your dental health !
You Have Treatment Options for Fixing Crooked Teeth!
The good news is that no matter your age, there are many different treatment options for fixing crooked teeth. From clear aligners to metal braces to ceramic braces, you can get straight teeth that are easy to care for and just as healthy as they are beautiful. Ask your dentist about your potential options for fixing your crooked teeth today!