A straighter smile goes beyond aesthetics. Tooth alignment can impact everything from your speech to whether or not you are able to ward off gum disease. Investing in a straighter smile can boost your oral health as well as your self-esteem.
Crowded Teeth are Prone to Gum Disease
It’s challenging enough to keep your teeth free of plaque and food debris. But when your teeth are crowded, tight together, or leaning in different directions, there’s a good chance your toothbrush just can’t thoroughly scrub those tight spots. Even if you’re flossing every day, biofilm and debris can still collect in those unreachable areas and irritate the gum tissues.
What seems to be “chronic gingivitis” (think puffy, red, or irritated gums) that never goes away can spread deeper into your gingiva and supporting bone structure, leading to tooth loss. Crowded, misaligned teeth are often where we first see signs of periodontal disease begin. Even professional hygienists can find it difficult to access and manage those areas during your dental cleanings because of your tooth position. Correcting your bite alignment is part of a comprehensive plan to manage and eliminate active gum disease.
Broken Fillings, Worn Teeth
Tooth enamel is extremely strong. Compared to every other structure in your body, enamel is the most durable. Unfortunately, if your teeth don’t meet together properly, they can also wear themselves down.
Improper bite alignment, like a cross bite (upper teeth bite down just inside of the lower teeth) or end-to-end bite (the cusps of opposing teeth come together) can place unnecessary strain on your smile. Over the years, all of the biting and chewing that your smile was designed for, can damage itself when your teeth aren’t aligned properly. You may start to see flattened teeth, feel sharp areas with your tongue, or start breaking fillings and crowns. If you’ve invested in smile reconstruction or are considering cosmetic treatment, straightening your teeth is a good way to protect your investment.
TMJ Disorder and Headaches
Finally, the way your teeth function impacts the muscles and joints used to grind them together. Your TMJ (temporomandibular joint) moves thousands of times each day. But if your teeth meet improperly, your jaw must make accommodations to bring your teeth down into a biting position. Over time, these small and unnatural movements can strain your TMJ and even lead to TMJ disorder, or TMD. Symptoms include headaches, muscle pain and fatigue, clicking or popping of the joint, and facial pain.
You’re Never Too Old for a Healthy, Straight Smile
One of the most common things we hear in our Nashville office is “I’m too old to be getting braces.” The truth is, you’re never too old. Straightening your teeth is both for your oral health as well as your self-confidence. When it comes to a smile makeover or managing periodontal disease, clear aligners are a great place to start.
Our Nashville practice offers the SNF Clear Aligning System for adults considering braces. The translucent aligners slip over your teeth so that no one realizes you’re even wearing braces. Enjoy the comfort and freedom that only removable braces have to offer. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hecklin.