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Love Your Smile with Dr. Sujata Bhatia

By Staff | Nov 29, 2012

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!

Question: I am 52 years old. My physician has informed me that my health may be compromised by the crowding of my teeth and has suggested that I see an orthodontist. How does my teeth not being straight influence my overall health?

Answer: There are plenty of medical reasons for adult orthodontics. 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 and maintaining the teeth, possibly resulting in more decay and gum disease.

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 (known as

pro-inflammatory mediators) that may lead to heart disease and stroke. Another theory is that bacteria from the mouth attach to fatty acid plaques in the coronary arteries and contribute to clot formation. These clots can obstruct normal blood flow and also lead to strokes and heart attacks.

Straight teeth allow for proper oral hygiene by providing easier access to the areas between the gums and reduce the accumulation of tartar and plaque on the teeth, thereby reducing the total bacterial count in the mouth

For a good resource on health consequences of crooked teeth, go to YouTube: “Straight Talk About Crooked Teeth.”

It is estimated that 75 to 80 percent of adult patients are now getting their teeth straightened for the first time. The silver-colored braces are still a good option for kids. However, 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 and teens can be treated with this method. Invisalign is a set of clear aligners that straighten the teeth gradually until the intended results are achieved. It is technique-sensitive, and the results vary with the expertise of the prescription that is put into each aligner.

Our practice has been awarded an Elite Provider status by Invisalign, a distinction based on over 600 cases treated.

Visit our website at www.La-hainaOrthodonticsMaui.com for more information on the health benefits of straight teeth and the different ways to straighten them.

Dr. Bhatia is happy to answer any additional questions. Send them to her at Lahaina Orthodontics, 505 Front St., #202, Lahaina, HI 96761 or visit www.LahainaOrthodonticsMaui.com.