How Crooked Teeth Can Affect Your Health

What are the Treatment Options?

Individuals with straight teeth are often perceived as more successful in multiple facets of life. It’s safe to say that crooked teeth can have a significant impact on your appearance. However, they can do a lot more harm than many people think.

What kind of consequences can come from having crooked teeth? There are a ton of variables to consider, but they can cause damage to tissues in the mouth, alter developmental growth, and even affect other parts of the body. This can result in speech impediments, heart problems, and headaches.

While common solutions can take months or even years, proper intervention can fix the problem entirely. If you’re curious about the causes of crooked teeth, and more detail regarding its consequences, consider reading ahead.

Causes of Crooked Teeth

There are a variety of causes that bring about crooked teeth, due in large part to how teeth and the surrounding tissues form childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Development and genetics usually mix with external factors, though.

Two of the most common causes come from childhood – sucking your thumb and overusing baby bottles or pacifiers. These habits produce a vacuum in the oral cavity that impacts how teeth grow and can change their direction. These alterations take place over long periods of time and aren’t exclusive to permanent teeth. Changes where deciduous, or milk, teeth are positioned, can remain a constant when permanent teeth erupt.

In adolescence and adulthood, you can also see alterations due to physical trauma and bad habits. Biting your nails, or inanimate objects, is one major factor. Some sports, like boxing, can also put you at greater risk for crooked teeth. However, there are a plethora of other variables that can add up and cause changes in position.

Some of the other lesser-known causes include illnesses that affect bone growth, pathologies that impact the proper position and formation of muscles surrounding the oral cavity, and a general deterioration of dental health due to lack of hygiene. The latter is often avoidable if a patient uses proper oral health guidance.

Why Fixing Crooked Teeth Is Important

Whether as a preventative measure or a solution to an existing problem, fixing crooked teeth can make significant positive changes to your quality of life. An easy way to fully understand why it’s so important is to take a look at the risks and consequences of having crooked teeth over long periods of time.

Assessing the Risks

Crooked teeth, at first glance, appear to only affect the aesthetics of the oral cavity. That is, they don’t seem to cause any real harm to the body. This is far from the truth. When teeth on either, or both, maxillary bones don’t fit in with the crowns of the opposite pieces, there’s potential for serious consequences.

One very apparent consequence involves overall mouth positioning. Crooked teeth can lead to movement over time and eventually malocclusions, also referred to as overall bad teeth positioning. Here are four examples of what you might run into:

  • Crossbite: upper front teeth bite inside and behind the lower teeth.
  • Overbite: upper front teeth bite far below the lower teeth and into the gums and lower teeth can sometimes bite into the roof of the mouth.
  • Underbite: lower front teeth stick out forward, passing the upper teeth.
  • Open bite: upper and lower front teeth don’t overlap, preventing proper capacity to bite with incisors to cut or bite into food.

These conditions, and the other aforementioned factors involved with crooked teeth, then lead to other oral complications. Crowding can occur, where various teeth clump together and make it almost impossible to properly brush or floss them. This can quickly lead to a severe lack of hygiene, and also often includes tooth wear and enamel loss due to malocclusion.

When all of these problems from crooked teeth are combined, they cause even more problems. It becomes harder to chew, put you more at risk of unintentional physical traumas, and cause serious damage to the temporomandibular joint.

How Crooked Teeth Affect General Health

Unbeknownst to many, there are various serious health problems that can stem from crooked teeth and a lack of oral care and hygiene. One example involves the temporomandibular joint, where the jaw bone sits against the cranium. Crooked teeth cause malocclusions, resulting in variance in how you chew and your mandible’s resting position, which often results in chronic headaches.

A lack of proper hygiene, especially in patients with crooked teeth, promotes the growth of certain bacteria that can then enter the bloodstream. Some might reach the heart and result in conditions like endocarditis.

Psychological issues, still under the umbrella of general health, can stem from crooked teeth. These are usually related to difficulties in dealing with self-esteem. A perceived or real drop in appearance often results in a loss of confidence.

Treatment Options

How do you treat crooked teeth? Well, fixing crooked teeth involves moving each tooth back to its proper position. Dentists can achieve movement over long periods of time with braces, surgery, and removable aligners. Some specialists have additional options which are made specifically for certain cases.

Fixing a smile takes more than just moving teeth back into place, though. You should also consider looking into dental crowns and veneers to improve the aesthetics of decayed or otherwise damaged teeth.

Fixing a Smile Is Worth It

A great smile can improve your overall appearance, and crooked teeth can get in the way. Worse yet, they can also result in serious health conditions that might require more time and effort to solve.

There are quite a few factors that can cause crooked teeth, so you should consider reaching out to a professional for some guidance. Don’t fret, as the available treatment options are fantastic and, if started sooner rather than later, can prevent consequences.

Get in touch if you’re trying to find a solution to crooked teeth. We look forward to hearing from you, and we’re ready to help guide you through the entire process.