The Health Benefits of Straightening Your Teeth

| February 25, 2013

While the psychological benefits of a beautiful smile are widely known, it’s easy to overlook the many health benefits. Truth is, these are equally if not more important, and they deserve some serious consideration. Let’s take a closer look.

Fighting Decay

Straight teeth are easier to clean, primarily because there are fewer areas your toothbrush can’t reach. The same goes for flossing, which is more successful at removing food particles if the teeth are properly spaced. When crooked teeth prevent your toothbrush and floss from doing the job they were meant to do, plaque builds up. This leads to tooth decay and gum disease, and that can be bad news for your overall health.

Think about it like this: Crowed teeth provide many hiding places for that unwanted plaque build-up. When pieces of food get stuck in these hiding places, your mouth becomes an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Eventually the plaque hardens into tartar, which unfortunately is difficult to remove. Even if you are a regular brusher, your dentist is forced to work much harder to successfully remove the plaque.

Preventing Periodontal Disease

As already mentioned, crooked teeth that are difficult to clean are more prone to cavities. When the bacteria invades your mouth, your gums also suffer. For many patients, the downside of all this is gingivitis, or inflammation that is caused by bacteria trapped in pockets between the gums and teeth. Gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease, which affects the gums, connective tissues and even the jaw bone. In severe cases, it can lead to the loss of teeth. And, recent studies by the American Dental Association show that oral infections can also lead to more serious ailments, such as heart disease, stroke, pneumonia and diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that between 5 percent and 11 percent of the adult population suffer from advanced gum disease.

Improving the Bite

When teeth are not aligned properly, your bite is forced to focus on just a few teeth rather than all of them. The incorrectly distributed pressure can lead to a wide range of problems, from jaw pain to teeth that break and chip. Likewise, abnormal spacing allows for teeth to shift incorrectly, which also leads to an uneven bite and more breakage. That same spacing makes it possible for food to get trapped, causing more plaque build-up and calculus (tartar)–and that means more decay and periodontal pocketing.

It’s easy to see the vicious cycle that occurs when teeth are not properly aligned. Along with the social benefits of straight teeth, patients should not overlook the many associated health benefits as well. At Grandview Dental, we can answer all your questions about teeth straightening. Give us a call at 614.486-7378 today.

Founded in 1978, Grandview Dental Care is a leading dentist in the Columbus, Ohio area, and we offer a wide range of general and cosmetic dental services to help you have a straighter smile. We are conveniently located at 1220 Grandview Avenue in Grandview Heights, near Marble Cliff, Upper Arlington, The Ohio State University campus and Downtown Columbus.