How Crowded Teeth Affect Health
By Mina Levi, DDS 07/23/2015
When a person thinks about getting braces, Invisalign clear aligners, or any other kind of orthodontic treatment, their main focus or reasoning is for cosmetic reasons: they want pretty, straight teeth. However, there are many more clinical reasons that orthodontic treatment like Invisalign is recommended that impacts a person’s health. In this week’s article, San Francisco dentist Mina Levi, DDS discusses how crowded teeth affect your health.
1. Calculus buildup. When your teeth are crowded, it causes very tight and unusual contacts between the teeth, making it difficult for floss and toothbrush bristles to reach all of the surfaces of the teeth to clean the bacteria and plaque that accumulates on the teeth. Because of this, those places are usually missed and so plaque and bacteria collect there and turn into hard calculus build up that cannot be removed by home care alone.
2. Gum disease. With more bacteria collecting in these tight places, the bacteria travel into the periodontal pockets, which are the pockets between the gums and the teeth. When bacteria and plaque accumulate in these places, the attachments weaken and the gum separates from the tooth, creating a deeper pocket in which the bacteria travels and causes a cycle of bacteria and disease. Periodontal/gum disease is irreversible, and can only be treated by a professional dental hygienist, the dentist, and a rigorous home care routine.
3. Tooth decay. When calculus builds up on the teeth, the bacteria sit there and eat away at the dental enamel. Once the enamel is penetrated, the bacteria eats away at the tooth structure causing a cavity or dental decay. Once the enamel is penetrated to a certain level, the decay can only be repaired with a filling. If the decay travels to the nerve of the tooth, the person may need a root canal.
4. Misalignment of bite/jaw issues. If the teeth are crowded, the top teeth may not fit correctly over the bottom teeth and they may have a mismatch on the bite. This misalignment can cause TMJ or jaw pain or issues like clicking, popping, or sticking.
5. Broken teeth. If the teeth do not fit correctly on top of one another, the force of biting or clenching/grinding at night can cause the teeth to actually break. This can only be repaired by a dentist, and if the misalignment is not corrected the problem can occur over and over again.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding crowding of the teeth or Invisalign clear aligners, visit San Francisco dentist Mina Levi, DDS on the web at www.minalevidds.com or give us a call at (415) 513-5066.