Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment

One of the main goals of orthodontic treatment is a beautiful smile. While orthodontics certainly enhances and plays a key role in achieving a perfect smile, there are many other benefits to having braces.

Some of these benefits are:

  • Reduced cavities and periodontal disease – Teeth that are malaligned create areas where the food traps. This trapped food creates more plaque and bacteria, which can eventually lead to having cavities and periodontal (gum) disease.
  • Reduced risk of injury – Having straight teeth reduces the risk of injury to the mouth especially during contact sports. Patients that have protruded upper teeth “buck teeth” are more likely to have trauma to their teeth or mouth. Additionally having teeth that are misaligned can wear teeth unevenly and cause enamel to chip at the edges of the teeth.
  • TMJ(Jaw Joint) Problems – Misaligned teeth can lead to jaw problems also known as TMD. Teeth, jaw joint and muscles of the face work together to create a healthy harmonious system. Having misaligned teeth can create stress in other areas of the system which can lead to TMJ problems.
  • Improved ability to chew food – Having teeth that are properly aligned and biting properly certainly enhances a patient’s ability to chew food. Patients with an improper bite have difficulty chewing their food and have a tendency to swallow larger bites leading to poor digestion.  
  • Easier to brush, clean and floss teeth – It goes without saying that having straight teeth makes it easier to brush, floss and clean teeth. Having straight teeth makes it easier for patients to clean their teeth with ease and maintain them in good health. Straighter teeth have less “hidden areas” where food and bacteria can build up.

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Don’t wait until it HURTS

Many times a patient gets diagnosed with a cavity and the most common question they ask is “Why doesn’t it hurt?”

If you get your regular dental check-ups it is likely that we can catch the problem early before there is any sign of pain. A small cavity that only requires a filling indicates that the decay is not close enough to the nerve to cause any pain. As the cavity gets larger it gets closer to the nerve of the tooth resulting in pain.  At this point you will need more extensive treatment to save the tooth.  The longer you wait the more costly and time consuming it will be.  So if you are not having pain that is a good thing! Staying proactive and seeing you dental team on a regular basis will help you keep your teeth healthy and catch cavities while they are still small.  With that being said don’t wait until it hurts, get proactive in your dental care.

Your mouth is a window to your overall health

There is a strong connection between your oral health and systemic health. Taking good care of your teeth will help you maintain good general health. Several diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, respiratory disease, cancer, endocarditis, premature birth and low-birth weight have been linked to poor oral health. It has been shown that the risk of having these conditions is higher in patients with unhealthy mouths. In all of these diseases the bacteria in the mouth can travel through the bloodstream and affect other parts of the body, such as heart, lungs and arteries.

There are several systemic diseases that affect your oral health. Some of these include diabetes, osteoporosis, HIV/AIDS, autoimmune disease and cancer.  Also, certain medications such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics and antidepressants negatively impact your oral health. Patients that have been diagnosed with any of these conditions are at a higher risk of having problems in their mouths.

In order to keep bacteria levels in the mouth to a minimum, it is imperative to have a healthy oral regimen. This includes having regular dental checkups and professional cleanings, as well as replacing your toothbrush every three to four months. Also, avoiding tobacco and having a healthy diet will help maintain a healthy mouth. Remember, the mouth is the window to your overall health.

Is gum disease dangerous? Can you treat it?

Affecting some 80 percent of the American population, gum disease hides in your mouth and destroys gum tissue and teeth, eventually leading to tooth loss. According to scientific research, there is a direct connection between gum disease and other health issues, including strokes, heart disease, osteoporosis, respiratory problems, diabetes complications, low birth weight, and dementia.

We can detect symptoms of gum disease before they take effect. In early stages, you can sometimes prevent it by improving oral hygiene and changing your oral care products. If gum disease, however, has already set in, we offer a range of therapies that we can use to treat it, including:

  • Scaling – to remove hardened plaque from below the gum line
  • Root Planing – to reduce rough areas on teeth roots
  • Antibiotic Therapy – to battle infection
  • Laser Treatment – to remove bacteria and promote gum reattachment
  • Surgery – advanced cases may require the care of a periodontist, in which case we will refer you to a trusted colleague