Some people just have natural gaps between their teeth before seeking orthodontic treatment. Some also have gapped teeth due to external causes that slowly created space in their mouth over time - such as having extra teeth, for example, or simply just the fault of genetics. It’s entirely out of your control, but closing the gaps for a beautiful, healthy smile is certainly something you can control!
Having large gaps and spaces between the teeth puts you at risk for certain complications and oral health conditions that orthodontic treatment can easily and effectively solve. Let’s go over some of them below so you know what to watch out for, and so you can recognize when it’s time to seek an orthodontic consultation for advice!
● Tooth Decay
Large spaces and gaps leave lots of room for tooth decay to build up in hard to reach areas. We know that having a certain level of space in between your teeth makes for an easier and improved flossing experience, but having too much of a gap can have an adverse effect on your oral health.
Spaces that are too large are deemed to be plaque traps, because food and debris have an increased amount of space in order to collect, and begin to develop harmful bacteria that eventually hardens to your teeth and gums. This can easily lead to gum disease, or periodontal disease, if left untreated; we’ll discuss this below.
● Gum Disease
If decay and bacteria persists within the mouth, it turns into a problem that requires a little more attention, and more direct and fast action. Periodontal disease requires a series of dental treatments to restore your mouth’s health, and can be expensive, stressful, and time consuming. It also isn’t something you can just leave, and hope that it goes away - if severe, periodontal disease has been known to cause bone loss. By ignoring the issue and hoping it resolves itself, you may be allowing your oral health to worsen.
Studies have shown that severe gum disease has been linked to more serious health conditions, such as heart disease. By being mindful of any large, out of the ordinary spacing between your teeth, you can make sure your oral health remains intact.
● Inflicting Damage Upon Other Teeth
All of your teeth work together to keep them all rooted in the right places. When one or more teeth are missing, the other teeth will naturally shift into the vacant space that’s left. You can imagine how this can begin to alter your bite, likely not for the better.
This will affect the way your teeth bite together, and has potential to impact the way you chew food and speak. There are aesthetic consequences to this, as well; teeth that are misaligned and don’t have a proper bite often chip and wear down far easier and faster. This leaves you with more than just a few missing teeth to worry about, and can take you even further down the necessary route of cosmetic and restorative dentistry. This is why it’s so important to address missing teeth right away!
● Risk of Frequent Headaches
If you’re experiencing chronic headaches and you’re having a hard time pinning down the source of them, they may very well be linked to dental irregularities.
A misaligned bite can lead to problems with your jaw joints, which are known to put you at risk of developing chronic headaches. If you find that you’re in pain or experiencing discomfort on a regular basis, it’s best to speak to your general dentist about the best course of action for getting your bite back on track.
● Lack of Self Confidence
A great deal of our self esteem is derived from our external appearance, and if you aren’t looking your best, chances are you won’t be feeling your best.
Missing teeth can certainly be an esthetic burden; it’s not uncommon to feel embarrassed or ashamed of having large gaps and missing teeth, and this may inspire you to avoid social situations to preserve your confidence. We want you to be able to meet up with your friends and family and smile in the photographs you take together, not shy away from these opportunities because you’re self conscious. Looks aren’t everything, but if you want to feel confident and carefree once more, it’s best to take action to revive your smile. You’ll feel so much better after having done so!
● Complicates Eating and Digestion
When your teeth are misaligned and don’t bite together properly, this can hinder your body’s ability to properly break down food. Believe it or not, being unable to break down food with your teeth before swallowing can actually negatively impact your digestion.
Eating food may become frustrating and uncomfortable - this may deter you from maintaining a regular, healthy meal schedule, which can drastically affect your overall health and well being. Just remember, it doesn’t have to be difficult - we’re here to help!