Malocclusion and Periodontal Diseases
Malocclusion affects 74% of American adults. If you have malocclusion, it may affect your periodontal health, because it is difficult to remove plaque when teeth are not aligned. Periodontal disease can begin as gum redness or bleeding while brushing your teeth or using dental floss, and you may notice halitosis, or bad breath. If not treated, gum inflammation can become worse, leading to soft tissue damage, receding gums, the formation of pockets between teeth and gums, bone loss, and eventually tooth loss.
The Progression of Periodontal Disease
When teeth are crowded, plaque with harmful bacteria can attach to the tooth surface down to the bottom of the pocket. Plaque can be tedious to remove from crowded areas because it is difficult to brush and floss there. Bacteria can cause gum tissue surrounding the tooth to degrade, and if not treated, result in bone loss.
Wear and Trauma
Poorly aligned teeth can also create unnatural stress and pressure on teeth and jaws. Teeth that are subject to excessive pressure can develop chipping and notches at the gum line called abfractions. Premature wear can lead to poor root support, loose teeth and eventually, tooth loss.
Why are Crooked Teeth a Problem?
Teeth that are not aligned properly in your mouth create what dentists call malocclusion. Left untreated, malocclusion can lead to periodontal disease and create abnormal amounts of stress on teeth and jaws, which leads to premature wear.
What Type Of Malocclusion Do You Have?
Here are some potential issues.
Buildup of plaque and tartar
Harbors harmful periodontal bacteria
Risk of periodontal disease, tooth, and bone loss
Food lodges between teeth
Risk of sore, tender gums
Risk of periodontal disease
Over-erupted lower front teeth that can damage the palate
Premature wear and chipping of the lower front teeth
Premature tooth wear and risk of chipped teeth
Abfraction — small notch in tooth at the gumline
Periodontal disease, tooth and bone loss
Chipped or fractured front teeth
Trauma to front teeth
EDGE -TO-EDGE BITE
Risk of teeth chipping and breaking
Jaw joint pain
Shortened or worn down front teeth
Abfraction — small notch in tooth at gumline
Gum recession, loose teeth and bone loss
Excessive, premature wear on back teeth
If left untreated, malocclusion can lead to periodontal disease and premature wear of teeth that can worsen over time and even result in tooth loss. Periodontal disease may also increase the risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (hardening of the arteries).
Straight Teeth are Healthier Teeth
Straight, properly aligned teeth can help you avoid the negative effects of periodontal disease.
Properly aligned teeth are easier to brush and floss than crowded or crooked teeth. Properly positioned teeth can help gums “fit” more tightly around them, which may lead to better periodontal health.
With good oral hygiene, the chances of having plaque retention, tooth decay, and periodontal disease can be reduced.
DECREASED RISK OF ABNORMAL WEAR AND TRAUMA
Properly aligned teeth also reduce the risk of expensive procedures required to repair the effects of abnormal force, such as tooth chipping, breaking or wear, and can be less stressful on the supporting jaw bone and joints.
MALOCCLUSION: A RISK TO OVERALL HEALTH
Severe periodontal infection, if untreated, may increase the risk for atherosclerosis-induced conditions such as coronary heart disease and stroke, complications of diabetes, adverse pregnancy outcomes, and respiratory diseases.
- Bacteria forms a film underneath the gums, particularly where teeth are misaligned. Gum pockets form, further trapping bacteria and debris.
- Bacteria inflames the gum tissues and kills gum tissue cells and can invade connective tissue and blood vessels.
- Your immune system creates white blood cells and proteins to fight the inflammation.
- The combination of bacteria, toxins, white blood cells, and acute phase proteins damages the cells that line your coronary arteries, resulting in plaque and leading to hardening of the arteries.