Patients may think that aesthetic improvement is the main benefit of consulting with an orthodontist to get a straighter smile, but this type of treatment can actually improve your overall health and well-being in a number of ways.
First of all, misaligned jaws and teeth are not as effective at chewing, so your nutrition may be enhanced when you get braces. When your jaws and teeth are correctly positioned, you will be able to process your food more thoroughly and take advantage of all of the nutrients it contains.
Furthermore, malocclusions (“bad bites”), which are also often the target of braces, can lead to significant discomfort and malfunction of the jaw joint – a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder over time. Such disorders can cause a range of symptoms, including headaches, ear pain and facial pain, among other issues. By correcting the conditions that contribute to TMJ disorders, an orthodontist will also be improving your general health.
Additionally, it can be hard to keep crooked teeth clean and free from plaque and bacteria, especially when severe crowding is a problem for the patient. Not only does this situation increase your risk of developing gum disease and cavities, but some oral diseases have been linked to systemic conditions. For example, people with gum disease are more likely to develop diabetes and vice versa. The exact mechanism underlying this phenomenon is unclear, but there is likely a relationship between the inflammation found in gum disease and other conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
Of course, the value of working with an orthodontist to boost your self-esteem has important implications for your general wellbeing. Better emotional health generally corresponds to better physical health, so if you feel more confident in flashing your pearly whites, it’s likely that your general health will be improved as well.
If you want to learn how having a more beautiful smile can benefit your overall wellness, contact Bunn Orthodontic Group at 210-921-9191 to schedule a consultation.