When people think of orthodontic treatment, many assume that its only benefits are cosmetic. It’s true that when you have crooked or misaligned teeth, it can affect your confidence. Straightening your teeth can definitely improve your appearance.
However, orthodontic issues such as misaligned teeth can affect a lot more than just your appearance. Many people choose to get corrective treatments such as braces to help improve their oral health. Dana Samet, DDS, can help you choose the right option to enhance your smile and the health of your teeth.
What is malocclusion?
Malocclusion is the official term for any type of problem with the alignment of your teeth. As many as 74% of adults have one of the following issues:
- Crooked teeth
- Crowded teeth
- Gaps between teeth
Malocclusion tends to be genetic, and you may have similar teeth to other members of your family. The shape and structure of your jaw can be affected by some additional factors:
- Using a pacifier beyond age 3
- Cleft lip and palate
- Prolonged bottle-feeding
- Sucking your thumb late into childhood
- Injuries to the jaw
- Poor dental care, including poorly fitting crowns or improperly done dental fillings
When your teeth aren’t properly aligned, it can cause more problems than just cosmetic issues.
Why teeth alignment matters
Misaligned teeth affect the function of your jaw, which can cause significant mouth pain. They can also cause you to bite the inside of your cheeks while eating or cause other pain while chewing.
Missing or crowded teeth can also cause jaw pain. Orthodontics can help to relieve this pain by shifting your teeth into the correct positions.
Crooked or crowded teeth also make it harder to properly clean them. When your teeth can’t be properly cleaned, this puts you at greater risk of developing periodontal disease.
People with particularly severe malocclusion may be more likely to breathe out of their nose than their mouths. It can also cause you to develop speech problems, such as a lisp. Correcting misaligned teeth can do more than just change your appearance; it can also affect seemingly unrelated issues like eating, breathing, and speaking.
Orthodontic treatments for malocclusion
While correcting misaligned teeth does give you a straighter, more attractive smile, it’s also important for your good dental health. Although you may think children and teens are the only ones who receive orthodontic treatment, a growing number of adults are doing so as well. The American Association of Orthodontists reports that approximately 1.5 million adults are undergoing orthodontic treatment.
Options include traditional braces, clear aligners from Invisalign®️, and other treatments such as expanders. Orthodontic treatment can improve the health of your teeth and fix problems like chronic jaw pain.
If you have problems with misaligned teeth, know that you can get them fixed at any age. Talk to Dr. Samet about your orthodontic options by calling our Torrance, California, office at 310-421-4442.