Crooked teeth affect chewing, biting and speaking, as well as self-confidence. They can also lead to many types of dental maladies, such as overbite, underbite, crossbite and overcrowding that negatively impact the functionality and cosmetic appearance of the teeth.
Some of the main disorders associated with crooked teeth are:
- Uneven wear
–Crooked teeth cause some of the other teeth to work harder than others when biting and chewing. Straight teeth share the workload evenly, meaning less risk of injury and better aesthetics.
Periodontitis (gum disease) starts as a bacterial infection caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Crooked teeth are hard to clean effectively, meaning that debris, plaque and bacteria can build up in hard-to-reach areas. Straight teeth, being much easier to clean, are at less risk of contracting gum disease.
- Temporomandibular Disorder (TMJ)
Crooked teeth may lead to improper jaw alignment, causing a painful condition known as TMJ. Some of the effects are , jaw pain, severe headaches lockjaw and teeth grinding.
- Tooth injury
Crooked teeth are weaker and often protrude, so they are more vulnerable to external injury, while straight teeth create a strong wall, such that injuries are harder to occur.
Teeth are straightened via orthodontic braces or customized aligning trays. Orthodontic braces are usually affixed to the teeth for a set duration. The brackets and arch wires are tightened regularly by the orthodontist and removed when treatment is complete. Aligning trays are fully removable and used where teeth need to move a shorter distance and malocclusion is less severe, with the trays replaced every few weeks for the duration of the treatment.