If your teeth aren’t aligned correctly, you might not think it’s a big deal. Sure, your upper teeth don’t quite line up with your lower teeth, but that’s only a cosmetic problem, right?
Actually, misaligned teeth can have serious consequences that affect both your dental health and overall health. Our providers at Dental Art of South Bay in Torrance, California, explain the problems that poorly aligned teeth can cause — and how you can fix them.
The causes of misaligned teeth
Misaligned teeth can be caused by a variety of conditions. They may be inherited, as many jaw conditions are. However, they may also be caused by the following:
- Cleft lip or palate
- History of prolonged bottle-feeding or pacifier use
- History of thumb-sucking
- Injuries that impact your jaw
- Tumors in your mouth or jaw
- Airway obstruction (mouth-breathing), which may be caused by allergies or enlarged tonsils
Your teeth are misaligned if your upper jaw doesn’t line up correctly with your lower jaw, resulting in a “bad bite.” This is actually one of the most common dental problems, so you shouldn’t feel embarrassed about it. But that also doesn’t mean that you should just leave it alone, either.
The consequences of misaligned teeth
Misaligned teeth have a wide variety of consequences possibly affecting your dental health and appearance. For example:
You may be more likely to develop gum disease
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is one of the most serious problems that can result from misaligned teeth. It tends to worsen with time and lack of proper treatment and can cause several health problems, including heart disease and stroke.
You can develop other dental problems
If your teeth are misaligned, you’re also at risk of developing other dental problems, including tooth decay and tooth loss. It’s more difficult to properly clean between teeth that are crowded or not in the correct position.
You might have trouble chewing
Having misaligned teeth puts you at greater risk of having trouble chewing. This includes the fact that you might chew on the inside of your cheeks as well. Misaligned teeth can even affect your speech and cause uneven wear on your dental enamel.
How to treat misaligned teeth
Misaligned teeth are usually very treatable. Most often, we recommend using a system like Invisalign®. This system uses a series of custom-molded clear thermoplastic aligners. You’ll wear them for 20-22 hours a day, only taking them out as needed to eat or drink. These are more commonly known as clear braces.
You’ll switch out your aligners about every two weeks as your teeth shift position. Your teeth will gradually move into a more aligned position.
If you want to learn more about Invisalign, make an appointment for a consultation with us. Contact our providers at Dental Art of South Bay or request an appointment online.