14. June 2011 06:00
In America the availability of orthodontics is almost a right for children. Parents will do whatever it takes for their kids, which is admirable, but what about for themselves?
Patients tell me some version of "I'm too old for orthodontics" or "I'm used to that crooked smile". But what most patients don't realize or have not been informed about is that while it is nice to have a pleasant smile, a poor bite can contribute to significant oral and systemic health issues.
A study by Brunelle in the Journal of Dental Research concludes that malocclusion affects 74% of American adults. This issue can create unnatural stress and pressure on the teeth and jaws. This can contribute to excessive wear and chipping of the teeth as
well as notching of the tooth structure at the gum line called abfractions. There are also potential problems with the jaw joint in some patients leading to TMD.
The poor alignment also makes proper removal of plaque and bacteria extremely challenging. This chronic bacterial buildup can create periodontal disease which potentially can lead to bone loss and tooth mobility. Heart disease, diabetes and other health issues also have been linked to the presence of gum disease.
Ask your dentist if you could benefit from straighter teeth, you have nothing to lose but your teeth and potentially your health.