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Health Consequences Of Crooked Teeth

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While crooked teeth may affect the appearance of your smile, they can have more serious consequences. Crooked or misaligned teeth can raise your risk for oral health problems, and if they're not treated by your dentist, these problems may lead to permanent tooth loss. Here are some health consequences of crooked teeth and what you can do about them.

Oral Infections

When your teeth are crowded or crooked, plaque and hard calculus can accumulate in between and behind your teeth. It is essential that you maintain a meticulous regimen of brushing and flossing to help eliminate infection-causing plaque from causing infections and gum disease.

In addition to your at-home dental routine, make sure you visit your dentist on a regular basis for checkups and professional teeth cleanings. If you wait too long between dental cleanings, hardened tartar may be hard to remove.

This may keep you in the dental chair for longer periods of time, and in some cases, it may lead to post-cleaning discomfort. Not only will cleanings reduce your risk for gum diseases such as periodontitis, but they will also keep halitosis, or bad breath, away.

Crowded, crooked, and overlapping teeth can cause malodorous bacteria to proliferate inside your mouth when they hide in the crevices of your teeth. Using a mouthwash recommended by your dentist will help prevent halitosis and reduce bacteria counts inside your mouth.

If you are susceptible to frequent oral infections, or if you have severe gingivitis because of your crooked teeth, your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist for further evaluation and treatment with braces.

Once your teeth have been straightened, you will be at a lower risk for developing infections and bad breath. Also, if you delay treatment for crooked teeth, you may also be at a higher risk for bite problems, or even bruxism. This condition refers to tooth grinding and may be more common in those who have an uneven bite caused by misaligned teeth. If you grind your teeth, your dentist may recommend that you wear special headgear at night when you sleep to help prevent damage to your tooth enamel during bruxism episodes.

Increased Risk For Chronic Illness

Because oral bacteria can multiply quickly in the presence of crooked teeth, you may be at risk for developing certain chronic illnesses. These chronic illnesses include cardiovascular disease and illnesses associated with systemic inflammation such as rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune disorders.

Severe tooth or gum infections can travel to your heart valves through your bloodstream, and in rare cases, they can lead to an increased risk for heart attack and stroke. Also, if you are a heart patient who has very crooked teeth that overlap, your cardiologist may recommend that you take a preventive course of antibiotics before undergoing dental work. This will help prevent bacteria from spreading from your mouth to your heart.

While dental-related heart valve infections typically resolve after taking antibiotics, damage to your valves, heart, and coronary arteries may be permanent. Crooked teeth and plaque buildup may also increase your risk for lung infections such as bacterial pneumonia and fungal infections.

If your teeth are crooked, remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day to help rinse away infection-causing bacteria that builds up inside your mouth. Also, limit your consumption of sugary foods, which can further promote the proliferation of oral bacteria. 

If your teeth are crooked, see your dentist on a regular basis. You may need more frequent professional cleanings as well as orthodontic treatment. Once your teeth have been straightened, you may be happier with your appearance, your bite may improve, and your risk for infections and chronic illness may decline.

Contact a clinic like RTC Dental for more information.