Many people think of dental alignment as a purely aesthetic issue. While it is true that a straight and seamless smile is attractive, proper dental alignment can also be crucial to maintaining a healthy smile. Today our Orland Park dentists are going to be talking about the ways that dental alignment can impact oral health; let’s get started!
The first thing to keep in mind is that it is much more difficult to thoroughly clean between teeth that are crooked and crowded. When teeth are properly and evenly aligned, you can easily floss your smile, and mouthwash is able to penetrate those hard-to-reach spaces in your mouth.
Additionally, when your bite does not fit together comfortably and naturally, this can put pressure on your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Patients who suffer from TMJ issues often deal with chronic pain as well as clicking and popping sensations in their jaws.
TMJ disorder can also cause you to unconsciously alter how you chew. You may start to favor one side of your mouth, or chew laterally rather than vertically in order to avoid experiencing discomfort or jaw popping. Unfortunately, this can cause your dental enamel to wear down prematurely in heavily trafficked areas of your smile.
As TMJ disorder progresses, it can make it difficult for patients to open their mouths all of the way; this manifests as a “locking” sensation when the patient chews, yawns, etc. Limited jaw mobility leads to uneven dental wear and tear, and it makes it difficult for patients to effectively clean their smiles—especially the back molars.
If you want to learn more about the ways in which dental alignment can affect your oral health, our Tinley Park dentist are here to answer all of your questions. We’re happy to talk to you about your treatment options for dental bite issues, and to help you determine the best way for you, specifically, to move forward.