Blame it on genetics or blame it on your environment, but one thing’s for sure: Crooked, overcrowded teeth are no fun. Everyone wants to be born with naturally straight, perfectly aligned teeth, but for many of us, that’s not the case.
Not only does poor teeth structure look less than appealing, it can actually cause problems in the jaw and mouth. That’s one of the reasons why it’s better to have teeth with a proper structure and alignment, and why so many people turn to orthodontists to “fix” their teeth structure. If you’re dealing with oral health issues, it could be due to the structure of your teeth.
Let’s examine some of the different problems that can arise when you have poor teeth structure:
Jaw Pain and Misalignment
The size of your jawbone and the way the teeth sit can cause painful issues with your jaw joints. If your jawbone is on the smaller side, you could have overcrowded teeth, since there’s not enough room on your jaw for them to align properly. It can also cause jaw misalignment when the mouth is closed, which is called malocclusion.This puts added pressure on your jaw since there are teeth in places where they shouldn’t be, and your mouth is forced to bite or move in ways that it’s not meant to. Ouch!
Poor teeth structure can cause problems with your bite, including:
- Crossbite — when your upper tooth is behind the lower opposing tooth
- Open bite — when the front teeth do not function as they should
- Overbite — when the front teeth have vertical and horizontal overlap
- Underbite — when the upper front teeth are behind the lower front teeth, usually caused by a disproportionate jaw size
Any type of bite issue can contribute to further oral health and speech problems, including the inability to restore worn or fractured teeth, lisps, difficulty chewing, and trauma to the front teeth. It’s always a good idea to talk to your dentist if you think you might have a bite issue — the earlier treatment is sought, the better.
Excessive Tooth Decay
Poor teeth structure, like crooked or overcrowded teeth, makes it harder to reach all of the important areas of the tooth when brushing and flossing. When you don’t eliminate all of the bacteria on your teeth and gums, you risk tooth decay and enamel erosion. When the structure of your teeth is correct, however, you can easily reach all areas of your teeth to keep them clean and healthy.
Another concern when people have poor teeth structure is chronic bad breath. This arises when bacteria is present on the teeth, gum, and tongues. And since having poor structured teeth can make it harder to keep them clean, that means more bacteria and more bad smells.
Frequent Tongue or Cheek Biting
Do you find that you’re always biting your tongue or the inside of your cheek when you chew food? This can cause pain and even infection from an open wound that can’t heal. When your jaw is misaligned or your teeth are not structured properly, chewing becomes more difficult and your tongue or cheek gets in the way. While this may not seem like a big deal to some people, when it happens constantly, it can become a problem.
As we mentioned earlier, certain types of jaw misalignments and bite problems can actually lead to speech issues, such as lisps. This is especially common with an overbite, which causes difficulty in biting because the front teeth do not function as they should. Once the teeth are corrected, speech problems can be corrected as well, but it’s difficult to fully eliminate existing speech problems with poor structured teeth.
There’s so much more to poor structured teeth than the way they look. Crooked and overcrowded teeth can cause all types of problems affecting both oral health and speech. Talk to your dentist if you’re worried about how the structure of your teeth is affecting your health.
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