Question: I am 52 years old, and my physician has informed me that my health may be compromised by my crowded teeth. He suggested that I see an orthodontist. How does my teeth being crowded affect my overall health?
Answer: First off, let me ask you to watch a video on YouTube titled "Straight talk about crooked teeth," which has excellent information about medical reasons for adult orthodontics.
Research has found that people with periodontal (gum) disease are almost twice as likely to suffer from coronary artery disease than those without periodontal disease. The theory is that the bacteria that form periodontal disease can trigger white blood cells to release chemicals in the blood that may lead to heart disease and stroke. Another theory is that bacteria from the mouth attach to plaque in the coronary arteries and contribute to clot formation. These clots can obstruct normal blood flow and also lead to strokes and heart attacks.
Crowded, excessively spaced or misaligned teeth can wear unevenly over time and, in some people, cause the teeth to weaken and fall out. Other problems associated with misaligned teeth include headaches, jaw pain and difficulty in cleaning the teeth, possibly resulting in more decay and gum disease.
Straight teeth allow for proper oral hygiene by providing easier access to the areas around the gums and help reduce the accumulation of tartar and plaque on the teeth, thereby reducing the total bacterial count in the mouth.
It is estimated that about 80 percent of adult patients that are going through orthodontic treatment (with Invisalign or braces) are doing so for the first time. Most adults want less visible options, and clear braces have been developed to make the braces less noticeable.
Invisalign is the latest alternative to conventional braces, and most adults can be treated with this method. Invisalign is a set of clear aligners that gradually straighten the teeth until the intended results are achieved. Visit our website at www.kiheiorthodonticsmaui.com for more information.
As always, Dr. Bhatia is happy to answer any additional questions; e-mail them to her at sb@Kihei Orthodonticsmaui.com.
(Dr. Bhatia has completed two full years of specialty training in Orthodontics after obtaining her degrees in Pediatric Dentistry and General Dentistry. Orthodontics is not part of what we do - it's ALL that we do!)