Your smile says a lot about you. And if you have less-than-straight teeth, you might not feel so confident about showing your smile to the world. But crooked teeth aren’t just a cosmetic concern—crooked teeth are a health issue, too.
A health issue? Yes, you might be surprised to know that crooked teeth can affect your oral and overall health. On the other hand, getting a straight smile and a healthy bite goes a long way in improving your oral health. And in turn, a healthy mouth lessens the likelihood of overall health concerns that are linked to oral problems. An orthodontist like Dr. Okuda can show you how he can fix your crooked teeth into a smile your mouth and body will thank you for!
In this post, let’s talk more in-depth about crooked teeth and the impact they can have on you. We’ll cover:
- What are crooked teeth?
- What causes crooked teeth?
- Oral health problems when teeth are crooked
- Overall health effects from crooked teeth
- How to fix crooked teeth
- Benefits of braces and Invisalign for crooked teeth
What are crooked teeth?
So what is considered ‘crooked teeth?’ you might ask. Simply put, if you have teeth that aren’t straight or you don’t have a normal bite, we would call these ‘crooked teeth.’ Some people with crooked teeth might have a few twisted or crowding teeth. Others might have crooked bottom teeth, but their upper teeth are fairly straight and well spaced. Crooked teeth can also be misalignment, like an overbite or underbite.
What causes crooked teeth?
Everyone’s teeth are different, and what causes crooked teeth is unique to each person. Can you relate to any of these causes of crooked teeth?
It turns out that crooked teeth are hereditary. If you’ve noticed that your parents have crooked teeth — or had crooked teeth before orthodontic treatment — you might have thought, “Are crooked teeth genetic?” Yes, it’s likely that your adult crooked teeth came from your parents. Genetics also plays a role in your jaw shape and size: if you have crooked teeth that are crowded together, it’s likely because your jaw is too small, a trait that’s often hereditary.
2. Misaligned Teeth
Speaking of jaw size, if your upper or lower jaw is too small, your misaligned jaws can result in issues like overbite or underbite. These causes of crooked teeth can impact the functionality of your teeth, like how efficiently you chew and bite. Crooked teeth in a bad bite can also contribute to uneven or excessive wear on certain teeth.
3. Tongue Thrust and Thumb Sucking
Tongue thrust and thumbsucking in infants are completely normal. But if these habits extend into the toddler years or elementary school, they can put undue pressure on teeth and jaws and alter healthy teeth and jaw development.
Thumbsucking can put pressure on growing gums, causing teeth to grow crooked, typically outwards. With tongue thrust, constant pressure from the tongue pushing against the front teeth can result in overbites or buck teeth.
4. Facial Trauma
Sometimes, a facial injury to the jaw or mouth can cause crooked teeth. Trauma to the jaw can cause it to move from its original position, leading to a misaligned bite. For kids, a misaligned bite can cause adult teeth to erupt crooked.
If you lost teeth because of facial trauma, the remaining teeth naturally want to shift to fill the gaps. This can result in either crooked bottom teeth or top teeth, whichever has the missing teeth.
Oral health problems when teeth are crooked
Now that you know what causes crooked teeth, you might be wondering about the cost of crooked teeth to your health.
First, let’s talk about your teeth and gums. It’s safe to say that you increase your chances of oral health issues with crooked teeth. Crowded or twisted teeth make it harder to brush and floss effectively, leaving food debris, plaque, and tarter to collect on and between your teeth. Eventually, this can lead to tooth decay, cavities, and even gum disease.
Now, we’re quite sure that most people are familiar with tooth decay and cavities. But you might not know much about gum disease. If this is you, read on!
What is gum disease?
So what is gum disease exactly? Gum disease is when plaque sits too long in the tiny spaces between your gums and teeth and causes an infection. And if your gums are infected, they might not be able to do their job, which is to protect your teeth and hold them securely in place.
Rest assured, gum disease isn’t severe immediately so you can intercept its progress. The first phase of gum disease is called gingivitis. Your gums will feel itchy, irritated, and most likely look a little swollen. You might notice you have bad breath. And your gums might even be bleeding. At this point, we recommend making an appointment with your dentist asap so you can treat it before it worsens.
If don’t make it to the dentist and your gingivitis progresses, what does severe gum disease look like? If gingivitis is left untreated, it turns into periodontitis — when the gums start pulling away from your teeth. Your gums are no longer anchoring your teeth, resulting in bone and tooth loss.
Chipped and worn teeth
When you have crooked teeth, you cause uneven pressure on your teeth when you’re chewing and biting. And if you grind your teeth, also called ‘bruxism,’ the wear is even more severe.
Think of it like this: well-aligned, straight teeth stack and fit together like a puzzle so they function together as they should. In contrast, crooked teeth means parts of your teeth stack and bite together that aren’t meant to fit. Over time, tooth enamel can wear down, or become chipped or fractured, resulting in tooth sensitivity, infection, or tooth loss.
Chewing and eating problems with crooked teeth
This might sound funny but digestion and nutrition begin in your mouth. You see, how well you can chew your food aids in how well you digest. Crooked teeth can make chewing food a lot harder, so you might not end up breaking down your food well for digestion. The outcome might be indigestion or even poor nutrition.
Speech development problems
Having a misaligned smile and not seeking treatment with braces or Invisalign can impact how well you speak. When teeth don’t align as they should, pronouncing certain sounds and words can be difficult. The result? Speech problems, the most common being a lisp. Crooked teeth also affects correct placement of your tongue, which is key for pronunciation, too.
Overall health effects from crooked teeth
Remember at the top of this post we mentioned that crooked teeth can affect your overall health? Studies have noticed a link between certain physical diseases and gum disease: in short, that oral inflamation — aka gum disease — is related to inflammation in other parts of the body. Poor oral health can affect illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and strokes.
Chronic pain such as headaches, back pain, or TMJ disorder can also stem from crooked teeth. Whether it’s the pressure of your jaw muscles or your teeth rubbing together inefficiently, crooked teeth can contribute to facial, head, and jaw pain.
We also should included the fact that crooked teeth can also impact your mental health. Our smile is often one of the first traits people notice and remember. So it’s fair to say that those with less-than-straight teeth can suffer from low self-esteem or confidence.
How to fix crooked teeth
Let’s move on to the good news: we can fix your crooked teeth and alleviate your related health issues! How to fix your crooked teeth? The team at Okuda Orthodontics provides braces and Invisalign for crooked teeth, transforming your problematic teeth into a custom smile that looks and feels like you — just way better!
Braces for crooked teeth
We can say that braces are the most tried and true treatment for crooked teeth. And at Okuda Orthdontics, we go one step further. Dr. Okuda is a leading provider of Damon™ braces, a self-ligating braces system that’s more comfortable and more efficient than traditional metal braces. Damon braces have an innovative memory wire that is preprogrammed right at the start with your teeth transformation.
A state-of-the art slide mechanism connects the wire and brackets instead of elastics, and the braces tighten and shift your teeth from beginning to end without manual adjustments. Quick, regular check ins with Dr. Okuda ensure everything is on track.
Not only do Damon braces make treatment for crooked teeth easier, they’re also more aesthetically pleasing than traditional braces. The brackets are small, and you can choose between metal or clear material. Self ligating braces are also easier to clean since they have fewer nooks and crannies for plaque, tartar, and food debris to hide.
Invisalign for crooked teeth
But how about clear aligner treatment? Can Invisalign fix crooked teeth? In the expert hands of Dr. Okuda, yes! If clear aligner treatment fits better with your lifestyle, you can trust Okuda Orthodontics with Invisalign treatment for your crooked teeth. We’re a leading Clark County, NV, provider of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen, having treated thousands of patients with Invisalign… with exceptional results! Even if your misalignment issues are complex, we can use Invisalign for your crooked teeth to transform them into the smile you’ve always wanted.
Invisalign is a great option for crooked teeth if you prefer an even more discreet treatment than Damon braces — these custom designed, BPA-free, clear trays are nearly invisible. You also can continue your usual eating habits since you take out your Invisalign trays when you eat or when you drink anything other than water.
Benefits of braces and Invisalign for crooked teeth
There are many health benefits that come from braces or Invisalign treatment for crooked teeth. Whether your jaw pain disappears or you can finally smile with confidence, having straight teeth is transformative. Getting braces or Invisalign for crooked teeth also results in:
- Less likelihood of tooth decay, cavities and gum disease
- Minimal enamel wear and less opportunity for tooth damage
- Teeth that function well for chewing and eating
- Improved speaking and pronunciation abilities
- A happier, healthier you!
Get started with braces or Invisalign with your expert Henderson, NV orthodontist
Ready to leave crooked teeth behind and live a healthier life with straight teeth? Dr. Okuda and the team at Okuda Orthodontics are your leading Clark County provider of Damon braces and Invisalign. We offer hi-tech, custom care that will leave you smiling big!
Contact us today for a free initial consultion to find out how to fix your crooked teeth.