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The Trouble With Crooked Teeth

smiling girl with crooked teeth

Crooked or overcrowded teeth are incredibly common across people of all ages. Some of these people may feel self-conscious about their crooked smile, while others can feel a greater sense of individuality. But either way, your dentist in Buckhead wants those with crooked teeth to know and understand that there are risks that often go hand-in-hand with a crooked smile.

What Causes Crooked Teeth? 

Before we dive into the trouble with crooked teeth, let’s take a look at some of the most common causes. 

  • Sucking your thumb or prolonged use of a pacifier as a child
  • Early tooth loss before an adult tooth is ready to erupt
  • A small jaw
  • Facial injury
  • Genetics
  • Mouth breathing
  • Incorrect tongue posture

Oral & Overall Health Concerns Related to Crooked Teeth

  • Gum disease – Crooked teeth can be difficult to care for and thoroughly clean in between each and every tooth. As your dentist in Buckhead knows, good oral hygiene is the best way to protect your teeth against problems such as cavities. But when someone can’t brush or floss properly, the chance of decay increases. And that’s not all. When bacteria are left to linger they not only affect the teeth but the gums as well. Too much bacteria can lead to gum disease which, if left untreated, can cause problems throughout the rest of the body such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. 
  • Dental Damage and Jaw Pain – Often crooked teeth cause people to put too much pressure or unnatural wear and tear on the teeth and supporting muscles in the jaw. This can lead to an increased risk of dental damage, such as chipped or cracked teeth, as well as jaw pain or TMJ/TMD. 
  • Digestion problems – Believe it or not, the problems of crooked teeth go beyond the mouth alone. In fact, because crooked teeth can make it difficult to properly chew food, digestion can also ultimately be affected by crooked teeth. 
  • Speech development – While this may be more apparent in children, crooked teeth can affect the way we speak and may cause us to mispronounce certain sounds. 
  • Sleep Apnea – One of the lesser-known side effects of crooked or overlapping teeth is sleep apnea. It’s pretty common for those with crooked teeth to also have a narrow jaw, as the two often occur together. This can make it hard to breathe or force people to breathe through their mouths. But when we mouth-breathe during sleep, and when our jaw is too narrow for our tongue to fit properly, we tend to snore. Snoring is one of the common signs of sleep apnea- a very serious condition that causes its sufferers to stop breathing during sleep and increases the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attack.

When Should You Consider Orthodontic Treatment? 

The decision to pursue orthodontic treatment should be made between you and your Buckhead dentist. If you’re concerned with your teeth or suspect that their crookedness puts you at risk for health problems, the best place to start is to schedule an appointment.

The Truth You Need to Know About Whitening Toothpaste

woman holds toothpaste

Everyone dreams of having a brilliant white smile. But the truth is, not all of us are blessed with a dazzlingly bright, superstar smile. In an attempt to transform our grins, we often turn to whitening toothpastes. In fact, nearly $100 million was spent on just two brands of whitening toothpastes in 2017 alone. But there’s something the team at our Buckhead dental office thinks you should know about whitening toothpastes.

Whitening Toothpastes Work…

With all the whitening toothpastes available, the good news is many have been proven to be effective at actually whitening teeth. However, whitening toothpaste typically only works to remove surface stains, and only if used regularly twice a day for several weeks. Additionally, whitening toothpastes do have some risks associated with them. The same abrasive ingredients that make whitening toothpaste effective at scrubbing away stains can also cause teeth to appear darker. How can that be? If whitening toothpaste is used too often the abrasive consistency can actually wear away tooth enamel and make the inner tooth (dentin) more visible. This dentin is usually dark in color and the more visible it is, the darker the tooth looks. So make sure to use whitening toothpaste as instructed and choose one with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.

…But Not All The Time

Whitening toothpastes are usually only effective at removing surface stains. This means that if your staining is deeper, your whitening toothpaste may not be doing much for you. But don’t worry, you don’t need to live with a smile you don’t like. There are plenty of cosmetic dentistry solutions that can transform your look, such as professional smile whitening, bonding, or veneers. Professional smile whitening is a stronger whitening solution applied by your dentist and tends to be more effective (and faster!) than a whitening toothpaste or even whitening strips.  Veneers are thin pieces of custom-crafted and custom-colored ceramic that are fused to the front of teeth, effectively covering up any imperfections you don’t like.

If you’ve tried every whitening toothpaste available to you and you’re still not quite happy with the results, call our dental office in Buckhead to schedule an appointment. We’ll work with you to determine the best way to whiten your smile safely and effectively.

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