Jaw pain can put a real damper on your daily life. It’s no fun to feel throbbing anytime you chew- or even open your mouth to talk. This is unfortunately the reality for patients who frequently grind their teeth or have TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder. Thankfully, your orthodontist can help! You may not have been aware, but straighter teeth aren’t the only benefit of braces. Continue reading to learn more about 4 ways braces contribute to your oral health!
Way #1: Prevent Gum Disease
Gum disease develops when bacteria flourish on or under our gums and cause infection. The more plaque and food particles we have in our mouths, the more likely it is to occur. When our teeth are crooked or overcrowded, there are plenty of places for toxic germs to hide and it’s hard to flush them out. Once our teeth are straightened, it’s much easier to brush and floss thoroughly!
Way #2: Avoid Tooth Decay
When teeth don’t line up properly, they’re prone to uneven wear and tear. This makes it not only harder to clean them but also erodes your enamel inappropriately. Acids from the food we eat and from bacteria in our mouths can further deteriorate the protective outer layer of our teeth, leaving the tender insides exposed. Yikes! Braces push our pearly whites into their proper positions, so this is less of an issue.
Way #3: Keep Your Jaw Strong
A misaligned bite can seriously impact your jaw, too. It causes extra force on your teeth and gums in ways that weren’t intended which can lead to extra tension and aches. Not only that, but if harmful germs from your teeth or gums aren’t taken care of, they can penetrate all the way into the jawbone. If left unaddressed, this could eventually deteriorate your jawbone to the point that it’s too weak to support your teeth.
Braces can ensure that your teeth are positioned correctly so that pressure is properly distributed among them. That means your orthodontist can help you decrease your jaw pain, as well as potentially bypass some other more serious concerns.
Way #4: Improved Digestion
Bite issues can also lead to stomach problems! If the teeth aren’t coming together when you chew down, then it’s hard to break food into digestible pieces. This can be difficult for the tummy and can result in irritable bowels or intestinal distress. Fortunately, braces and bands can realign your jaw so that you don’t run into this problem so frequently after treatment.
While we often think of braces as the standard solution to straighten our smiles, they do so much more! You can address TMJ issues and avoid other oral health concerns all with a single orthodontics treatment. That’s certainly something to smile about!
About the Author
Dr. Alex J. Johnson has over 30 years of experience guiding patients through their orthodontic journeys. He pursued his dental doctorate at Washington University, where he also got his master’s degree and Orthodontic Certificate. Since then, he has continued his education with courses at the prestigious Pankey Institute and has completed courses in Airway Orthodontics. That makes him an expert at handling issues like misaligned bites or displaced teeth. You’re welcome to request an appointment on the website or call (727) 786-7550.