If you have overcrowded teeth, chances are you feel self-conscious about how they make your smile look. Unfortunately, the problem with your teeth goes beyond simple appearances. Having overcrowded teeth can potentially worsen your oral health in three unique ways -- keep reading to learn more about them.
When people have overcrowded teeth, it reduces the amount of space between each tooth. In many cases, the overcrowding becomes so bad that teeth cross over each other, partially occupying each other's spots. When this happens, it becomes much easier for plaque to develop.
There are a couple of reasons for this. For one, the closed space makes it easier for bacteria to proliferate. Since it's hard for toothbrushes to get in there, plaque quickly develops. Lastly, plaque is more common in overcrowded teeth because when teeth are that close together, plaque can act as a bridge between two teeth, developing more plaque than teeth with space between them might.
Unfortunately, gum disease is more common in people who have overcrowded teeth. This is mostly due to the aforementioned problem of overgrown bacteria.
When bacteria are allowed to reproduce and proliferate, it can induce inflammation and infection in the gums. This is what causes gum disease and can lead to major health problems. If you're only brushing your teeth and not flossing, it will only make matters worse, since it's harder to get access between overcrowded teeth than well-spaced teeth.
Lastly, having overcrowded teeth, over time, could potentially increase your risk of losing one or more teeth. There are a couple of reasons that lead to this possibility. The first two are those listed above - long-term plaque development and gum disease can both lead to tooth loss.
Another potential cause is that teeth that are overcrowded tend to put stress on one another. If a tooth is literally leaning on its next-door neighbor tooth, that's excessive pressure on both teeth. When you bite down, it will send pressure through both of them, potentially causing strain and damage to the tooth's root. With all these factors combined with potentially poor oral health due to overcrowding, tooth loss is a definite possibility.
Overcrowded teeth are a serious problem for your oral health, but one that's fairly easy to fix. If you have overcrowded teeth, braces or invisible braces can space out your teeth and give you the smile and oral health you deserve. For more information, contact your local orthodontist.