A recent look at the behaviours of adults in seeking medical treatment during the pandemic revealed an alarming trend. Nearly half of all adults surveyed reported delaying going to the dentist or receiving dental care during the past year alone. These surveys included people delaying regular cleanings, as well as scheduled appointments to follow up on dental concerns, and even postponing serious treatments. If you are looking for a dentist in Cambridge, don’t make the mistake of postponing your appointment – connect with us today.
What these people may not realize is that a less-than-perfect set of pearly whites may actually contribute to a host of other more serious problems associated with oral health. Some of these issues can be preventable and others can be treated and managed by your dentist, like our team at Riverfront Dental! Read on to find out how your oral health can impact the rest of your physical and mental well-being.
If your teeth are misaligned, this can make it much harder to reach crowded areas with your toothbrush. Crowded teeth create more hiding spots for bacteria and plaque. Improper tooth hygiene can lead to inflammation, gum recession, bone loss and tooth decay. If left untreated for long enough, gum disease can also lead to periodontitis which is the loss of bone supporting your teeth. This in turn can lead to tooth loss. Getting regular cleanings and having crowded and misaligned teeth treated by your dentist can prevent this serious dental problem and perhaps save your teeth!
Chewing and Tooth Wear
When teeth are crooked or crowded, your bite may be affected. Misaligned teeth can cause difficulties even with the simple act of chewing your food. If teeth are not correctly lined up, you’ll be at higher risk for cracking, breaking, and fracture or wear while you eat. Furthermore, improperly chewed food can in turn cause more serious issues with digestion, inferior nutrition, and stomach pain. A dentist can help you determine if you have any teeth at risk during your routine checkup.
Breathing and headaches
People who breathe with their mouth open or snore or clench or grind their teeth, place extra pressure on their teeth throughout the day and night, when speaking, and when swallowing. Misaligned teeth and jaws can result in obstructive sleep apnea (a partially blocked airway during sleep). Obstructive sleep apnea can increase your risk of more serious issues like high blood pressure and abnormal heartbeats also known as atrial fibrillation. Obstructive sleep apnea can also result in dental problems.
You may not realize this but the constant pressure of your muscles on a crooked smile might also result in painful and frequent headaches. Any part of your facial muscles that experience pressure or strain can cause your head to hurt, so crooked teeth could be the problem behind your mystery headaches.
Speech and Self-Esteem
Having a beautiful smile increases feelings of confidence and happiness. Smiling throughout the day can decrease your stress levels and positively impact your cognitive abilities. Over time as you grow and your teeth shift, misaligned teeth can also affect the way you talk. You may not even notice the effects if they are gradual. If you have missing, crooked, or crowded teeth, it may cause you to speak or smile less which can negatively impact your self-esteem and feelings of well-being.
Overall Negative Health Effects
Several studies by the American Dental Association (ADA) have shown that oral infections caused by the build-up of bacteria in the mouth may lead to much more serious illnesses. That harmful bacteria can get into your bloodstream and cause serious problems with your heart valves resulting in heart disease, stroke, pneumonia, diabetes, and blood infections. Prevention is key – seeing your dentist and dental hygienist for regular visits ensures your oral health can prevent larger whole-body health issues.
Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) are painful jaw issues that can be caused by misaligned teeth going untreated for too long. It can cause your jaw to pop and lock, and cause pain in your face, neck, and shoulders. Crooked teeth can result in increased wear on your jaw hinge joint which causes disorders of the joint. TMD can affect your daily life activities like speaking and eating. Visiting your dentist for an assessment if you have jaw pain is essential to help resolve these issues.
If dental hygiene hasn’t been at the top of your priority list recently and you are one of the many that have delayed treatment in the past year, you may want to consider booking an appointment in the very near future. The impact on your health can truly take a serious toll. If you are looking for a dentist in Cambridge, reach out to Riverfront Dental today to make the important first step in improving your health and well-being.