Posted on July 19, 2022
You might think orthodontic treatment is only necessary if your teeth are noticeably crooked. But there are more subtle indications that your teeth are not properly aligned. Learn the signs that tell you it’s time to visit an orthodontist for an evaluation.
Crowding or gaps between teeth can occur at any age. You may notice that your child’s permanent teeth are not growing straight or seem twisted, slanted, or overlapping. Many factors contribute to this, such as genetics.
Adults can also experience crowding and gaps between teeth. The jaw changes size and shape as a person grows and ages. Accidents, tooth grinding, and dental extractions or procedures can cause teeth to shift and move.
When your teeth are not properly aligned, you may notice changes in your biting or chewing habits. You find yourself chewing more on one side of your mouth than on the other. You could also have pain or discomfort in certain teeth.
Another sign of misaligned teeth is uneven wear. This can be caused by tooth grinding, which tends to wear down the enamel on the surface of your teeth. This can make your teeth more susceptible to decay, loosen teeth, or cause jaw pain known as temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ.
If you’re having difficulties getting floss between your teeth, or if you have places where plaque tends to accumulate, you should be concerned. To prevent tooth decay and gum disease, you need to be able to clean all surfaces of your teeth. Crowded or overlapping teeth create areas that are difficult to access with normal cleaning tools.
Your dental hygienist can advise you whether your cleaning problems may be related to the spacing or position of your teeth. They can also spot teeth that are experiencing unusual stress or enamel erosion. Ask your dentist to check these areas and advise you if you should see an orthodontist.
When you notice signs of possible problems, you should visit an orthodontist for a consultation. Left untreated, crooked or misaligned teeth can lead to other serious dental problems. An orthodontist will evaluate the custom needs of your teeth and recommend a treatment such as braces or Invisalign.
If you need orthodontic treatment in the Saginaw area, find out whether Invisalign might be right for you.