4 Health Conditions Related to Orthodontics
Proper teeth alignment promotes oral health, improves dental function, and enhances the overall appearance of the smile. Here are four oral conditions that orthodontists can provide treatment for and ways to prevent those conditions:
Temporomandibular disorder (TMD) is a condition that affects the joint connecting the jawbone to the skull. TMD symptoms can include pain in the jaw, ear, and mouth, difficulty opening and closing the mouth, and popping or clicking sounds when opening or closing the mouth. TMD may be caused by misaligned teeth and malocclusions, which can put pressure on the jaw joint. If TMD is suspected, the patient should see an orthodontist who specializes in the condition, like our professionals at Gruelle Dempsey Orthodontics. Treatment options may include adjusting the bite, using splints, Invisalign or braces, and taking medication for pain and inflammation.
Another common health condition related to orthodontics is tooth decay or cavities. Incorrect tooth spacing or alignment can trap more food particles and bacteria than normal, leading to the formation of plaque and eventually cavities. Cavities can cause pain and sensitivity and, if left untreated, can result in serious infections that can spread to the bone and nervous system.
Tooth decay can be prevented by maintaining a healthy diet, brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash recommended by the dentist. You also should follow the orthodontist’s instructions for caring for Invisalign and braces, including avoiding sticky or hard foods that can damage the brackets and wires, and making sure your teeth are clean before reinserting your trays. Realignment and proper spacing can make it easier to protect your teeth from cavities.
Root resorption is a type of damage to the roots of the teeth. It occurs when pressure between teeth or other sources cause the roots to dissolve, leading to shortening or weakening of the teeth. If left untreated, root resorption can lead to tooth loss. Orthodontic braces and Invisalign can potentially ease such pressure. If you feel pressure between your teeth, it may be prudent to bring it up to your dentist or orthodontist. If you have braces or Invisalign already, attentive care and maintenance of them can help avoid resorption. Regular checkups with the dentist are also necessary to catch any signs of root resorption early on.
Sleep apnea can be a serious condition that causes patients to periodically stop breathing while they sleep. Without treatment, it can lead to severe illnesses or injury. Fortunately, sleep apnea can be treated orthodontically with custom-made oral devices designed to prevent throat blockage. The team at Gruelle Dempsey Orthodontics is trained in the preparation and fitting of these devices.
Listen to Your Orthodontist
Orthodontic treatment can improve the health, function, and appearance of teeth and gums. The long-term nature of many orthodontic treatments requires careful attention from the patient. If you are receiving orthodontic care for any of these or other conditions, follow your orthodontist’s instructions closely. Their guidance can help you get the most out of your treatment. The team at Gruelle Dempsey Orthodontics is happy to advise on what treatments might help you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.