Crooked teeth are usually considered an aesthetic issue, but these misaligned teeth can have an impact on your oral health and overall well-being, which makes it important to correct any issues with crooked teeth.

Fortunately, you can get braces and aligners to straighten your teeth if you want to improve the aesthetics of your smile and ensure that you’re receiving the most benefits from your oral health efforts, including reduced risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Here are five problems associated with crooked teeth that you may want to know about.

Grinding Teeth

If you have crooked teeth, you may be more likely to grind your teeth. This can lead to several problems, including headaches, jaw pain, and tooth loss. In severe cases, it can lead to TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder).

Talk to your dentist if you think you may be grinding your teeth. They can help you find ways to relieve the pressure on your teeth and jaws and prevent further damage.

Tooth Decay

Brushing and flossing properly is harder when your teeth are crowded or overlap. This can lead to tooth decay and cavities. The three worst symptoms of tooth decay include:

  • Toothache: Sometimes, you’ll only realize there’s a problem with one of your teeth when you experience pain while chewing or even while eating cold foods.
  • Swelling: You may notice that the area around a diseased tooth is swollen, red, and painful when you press it with your tongue.
  • Receding Gums: When the inflammation from infection spreads beneath the gum line, the gums will start to recede as they heal themselves from being irritated by bacteria in food particles. The receding gums often make the teeth appear longer than normal too.

Tooth Loss

Crooked teeth can cause tooth loss. When teeth are crowded, they can rub against each other and wear down. This can cause your teeth to become loose and eventually fall out.

In addition to causing tooth loss, crooked teeth can also lead to gum disease. Gum disease is an infection of the gums that can damage the tissue and bone that support your teeth. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss.

Crooked teeth can also make it difficult to clean your teeth properly. When your teeth are crowded, it’s harder to brush and floss around them. This can lead to an accumulation of plaque and tartar on your teeth, leading to cavities, gum disease, and eventually tooth loss.

Poor Speech

If you have crooked teeth, you may not be able to speak as clearly as someone with straighter teeth. This can make it difficult to understand you, causing you to have to repeat yourself often. You may also avoid speaking altogether out of fear of being misunderstood.

If you have crooked teeth, one option is to correct your speech. Luckily, crooked teeth don’t necessarily mean a speech impediment. A good dentist or speech therapist can help you learn how to overcome some of these problems, such as by using specific muscles in your lips and tongue and moving your jaw in certain ways.

However, if you have trouble speaking, it may be time to consider fixing your crooked teeth for good with braces, aligners, or dental surgery.

Bad Breath

While regular brushing and flossing are important for all of us, if you have crooked teeth, you may need to work a little extra hard at keeping them clean. Another health condition from crooked teeth is halitosis or bad breath. Because it’s harder to keep your teeth clean if they’re misaligned, bacteria can grow in your mouth and create an odor.

If regular brushing and flossing aren’t enough, talk to your dentist about additional treatment options. These may include dental implants or bonding materials that help cover discolored gaps between your gums and teeth. Not only will these treatments make your smile look better, but they can also improve your oral health significantly.