Are straight teeth more than just a pretty smile? Are there actual health benefits to having those pearly whites properly aligned? Actually, there are! If you have been considering a visit to Dougherty Orthodontics for yourself or a loved one, here are 7 benefits of straight teeth.
- Crowd Control: When there is not enough space for all the occupants, teeth become crowded. As they all squeeze together into that limited space, gums pay the price. Swollen, red gums are a common symptom of irritation and possibly infection. There are just too many teeth at the party. Crowding is a logistics problem that results in ineffective dental hygiene. Poor dental hygiene leads to periodontal disease. Straight teeth enjoy the benefit of crowd control — healthier gums.
- Good-Bye Gaps: Logic might dictate that, if crowding creates problems with gums, then having too much space should be a good thing. Actually, unnatural gaps create their own kind of problems. Gums are designed to fit securely around teeth as a natural barrier of protection. Too much space that creates gaps between teeth may cause gums to fit loosely, rather than snugly, around teeth. That becomes a place where bacteria can thrive, leading to gum disease. Properly aligned teeth are more resistant to bacteria growing within the gum line.
- Efficient Hygiene: Plaque build-up that can lead to tooth decay occurs more commonly in teeth that are misaligned. Properly aligned teeth are easier to clean. Flossing and brushing is much more effective. Overall dental health is better for people with straight teeth.
- Correct Wear Patterns: Misaligned teeth wear improperly over the course of a lifetime. It doesn’t take many years of incorrect chewing patterns for teeth to show signs of abnormal wear. Abnormal wear patterns can contribute to tooth decay, gum disease and, ultimately, tooth loss. Serious cases can even affect speech patterns and cause jaw problems. An even smile is a healthier, more comfortable smile.
- Minimize Injury Risk: A tooth resting in the wrong place is at greater risk of being chipped or broken. There is also a greater risk of the tooth inflicting injury itself, such as abrading the inside of the cheek or incising a lip. Correctly aligned teeth mean less trauma and even fewer emergency dental visits.
- Feel Better: If a person has been suffering from chronic headaches, crooked teeth that are causing undue stress on gums and jaws could be the reason. Misaligned teeth are linked with chronic neck pain and headache. Properly aligned teeth contribute to a better quality of life, helping you simply feel better.
- Avoid Serious Disease: It may seem that the worst one can expect from misaligned teeth would be gum disease. The reality is that gum disease might just be the first step toward serious health problems. Periodontal disease can actually be a pretty scary thing, contributing to:
- Coronary Artery Disease: Research indicates gum disease patients are twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease. Medical experts theorize that harmful oral bacteria travels through the bloodstream to the heart. There, the bacteria attaches to fatty plaques within coronary blood vessels. This causes inflammation that can trigger a heart attack.
- Elevated Dementia Risk: Researchers are studying a link between oral bacteria and dementia. It is believed that the bacteria travels through the cranial nerves of the jaw. This bacteria then contributes to the development of the type of plaque linked with Alzheimer’s.
- Diabetes Complications: A diabetic with gum disease has more difficulty controlling blood sugar levels. Since diabetics are more susceptible to infection, proper dental hygiene and alignment of teeth is a strategy for better diabetes management.
- Respiratory Complications: Medical experts suspect a link between oral bacteria inhaled into lungs exacerbating chronic respiratory conditions, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is suggested that bacteria inflames airways that are already compromised and sensitive, creating one more risk and complication of a chronic condition.
Now that you’ve seen the many benefits of straight teeth, it should be easier to get started. Choosing orthodontics to straighten your teeth can also help you avoid the unnecessary health risks associated with poor oral health. Dougherty Orthodontics works with patients of all ages to find the best solution for their smile. Whether you’ve got a preteen who needs to start treatment or you’re an adult whose teeth have shifted over time, Dr. Dougherty can help! Contact us today for a complimentary consultation. We can’t wait to get started.