Dr. Anna M. Berik is often asked why crooked teeth are a problem. Malocclusion, or crooked teeth, affects 74% of American adults and can have widespread effects on your health. Because plaque is more difficult to remove on misaligned teeth, your gums can become inflamed, bleeding during routine brushing and flossing. Left untreated, the inflammation can lead to bad breath, soft tissue damage, receding gum lines, bone and eventually tooth loss.

There are several types of malocclusion. Crowding occurs when there isn’t enough room within your jaw for all of your teeth to fit. If untreated, your teeth will get more crooked and result in plaque buildup and a heightened chance of tooth loss, bones loss and gum disease. Spacing, or teeth gaps, leaves your teeth vulnerable to sore gums due to food getting stuck between the gaps, which in turn raises your risk for periodontal disease.

There are also bite issues that can affect your dental health. A deep bite can cause chipping and premature wear on your lower front teeth, while an overjet causes trauma to the back of your upper teeth from the constant wear of the bottom teeth against them. A crossbite will cause wear to both rows of teeth because the teeth are not evenly distributed. All of these can lead to gum disease and tooth lost if left alone.

Straightening your teeth can have a positive impact on your life, affecting your health, appearance and self-esteem. Straight teeth are easier to brush and floss, which reduces risks for gum disease and decay. Studies have also begun to link poor gum health with cardiovascular diseases, most notably hardened arteries. One method of straightening your teeth is through Invisalign, a set of clear, removable aligners that can straighten your teeth in under one year.

Watch the following video “Straight Talk About Crooked Teeth” to learn how you can reduce your risk of periodontal disease and improve your oral health.

Dr. Berik can be contacted here or you can call her office at 617-965-0060 to schedule a consultation to see if Invisalign is right for you.