People often assume that cosmetic problems are the only reason to straighten crooked teeth. While the change to your smile can be an excellent benefit, it isn’t just the way you look that’s affected by crooked teeth. In fact, leaving your crooked teeth as they are could lead to several oral health problems, including the four listed below.
- Enamel Wear
Your teeth are designed to rest straight. When any protrude or overlap, they will rub against adjacent teeth in ways the surface enamel was never designed to handle. Whenever you chew, the pressure will cause overlapping teeth to rub against each other. Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body, but it can be worn away through constant rubbing. That wear decreases a tooth’s natural defences and makes oral sensitivity more likely.
- Cracks and Fractures
Healthy teeth can put up with surprisingly hard impacts without coming loose, but only if they’re straight. Well-formed teeth are perfectly braced to resist impact. In contrast, a misaligned tooth will place greater pressure on those around it and won’t feel properly anchored. If you ever take a nasty hit, you’ll be at greater risk of chips or fractures.
- Gum Disease
Many dentists will agree that gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss. It occurs when plaque is allowed to accumulate on your teeth – that plaque gives off a toxic by-product that creates decay and irritates your gums. You can prevent plaque from accumulating by properly brushing and flossing. Problem is, brushing and flossing isn’t as effective when your teeth are crooked. Wherever teeth overlap, there will be a place where plaque and food debris can thrive unmolested by your toothbrush or floss.
- Bad Breath
Finally, crooked teeth can cause bad breath. This is usually a precursor to the decay or gum disease mentioned above – when overlapping teeth form pockets in which bacteria can thrive and food debris can become lodged, it becomes very hard to rid your mouth of the lingering unpleasant smells they produce.