5 Ways Orthodontics Can Positively Impact Your Health
A straighter smile has more than just cosmetic benefits.
Orthodontic treatment can provide a wide range of benefits, from giving you the confidence that comes with a straight smile to protecting against a variety of oral health issues. Orthodontics affects your health more than you might realize—and has benefits that impact much more than your appearance.
Braces and clear aligners treat a variety of issues. Malocclusions are one of the most common types of orthodontic concerns and means that the upper and lower teeth don’t sit together properly, such as with an overbite, an underbite, or a crossbite.
Orthodontics can also treat crowding, which happens when teeth are too close together, as well as individual crooked teeth.
In any case, orthodontic treatment serves to provide lasting health benefits, especially in these 5 key areas.
1. Avoiding Dental Trauma
Malocclusion causes a higher risk of dental trauma from physical accidents. When your teeth aren’t properly aligned, one or two teeth can bear the impact of a collision instead of that force being spread across the entire arch. If an accident causes your teeth to close abruptly with force, you could find yourself with a chipped or broken tooth.
Chipped or broken teeth can often be repaired, but they sometimes need extraction and replacement. You can avoid this situation with orthodontic treatment. Braces or clear aligners can treat your malocclusion, allowing your upper and lower teeth to fit together properly. .
2. Preventing Worn Down Teeth
Physical wear is one of the most serious things that can happen to your teeth. When enamel is worn away, it doesn’t grow back. That’s why teeth grinding is such a major concern. Various orthodontic issues can contribute to teeth grinding, causing lasting damage to your teeth.
The uneven alignment of your teeth also leads to wear, even if you don’t experience significant grinding. Uneven contact causes wear at specific points, reducing the thickness of the enamel and increasing the risk of cavities and tooth decay. Orthodontic treatment prevents this by ensuring the proper alignment of your teeth and avoiding vulnerable points of contact.
3. Lowering the Risk of Tooth Decay
Malocclusion, crowding, and crooked teeth also affect your ability to practice proper oral hygiene. When your teeth are too close together or overlap, you can’t reach every part of their surface during brushing and flossing. This allows bacteria to thrive in those hidden nooks, contributing to tooth decay.
Those bacteria eventually form plaque and tartar deposits, which accelerate tooth decay. You can find yourself in need of fillings or even root canal treatment as bacteria continue to erode your enamel.
Orthodontic treatment can resolve the malocclusion and crowding issues that are preventing you from enjoying proper oral hygiene. With straight, evenly spaced teeth, you’ll be able to brush and floss effectively to keep the bacteria that cause tooth decay under control.
4. Decreasing the Risk of Gum Disease
The same bacteria responsible for tooth decay also cause gum disease. When these bacteria are able to grow around the gumline and penetrate beneath it, they cause an infection that develops over time and leads to a variety of negative outcomes.
Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease, and you might not notice anything worse than bad breath at first. However, unless action is taken, you’ll soon find yourself dealing with painful, swollen, and even bleeding gums. As the condition progresses, it can eventually lead to tooth loss as the tissue supporting tooth roots is affected.
This is another area where orthodontics affects your health. Orthodontic treatment can help prevent gum disease in the same way it prevents tooth decay. Straight teeth allow you to exercise better oral health, reducing bacteria in your mouth and helping you avoid the long-term impact of gum disease.
5. Helping Prevent Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a condition where you jolt awake suddenly at night due to a restricted airway. The muscles in the throat relax while you sleep, causing the airway to close. Individuals with sleep apnea can experience tiredness and exhaustion throughout the day and are at increased risk for high blood pressure and other health concerns.
There are many factors that can contribute to sleep apnea, and malocclusion can be one of those factors. How your jaw sits when closed has some impact on your throat muscles, which is why night guards that adjust the position of your jaw are a common treatment option for sleep apnea.
Resolving malocclusion can mean the jaw fits together properly when your mouth is closed, which can help alleviate sleep apnea. While cases of sleep apnea often arise from multiple causes in tandem, orthodontic treatment can help provide relief.
Orthodontic Treatment From Your Dentist in Maryville, MO
In many cases, you can receive orthodontic treatment from the dentist you already know and trust. Receiving both your dental and orthodontic care in the same location can make achieving that healthy smile a more convenient and pleasant experience. At Compass Dental Group, we can provide orthodontics to treat a wide range of issues. Our dedicated team can develop a treatment plan to address your unique needs. Reach out today to schedule a consultation.