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7 Health Problems Associated With Misaligned Teeth



Having flawless, healthy teeth is a blessing that significantly contributes to one's well-being. They require extra care and attention, especially because they erupt only once in an individual’s lifetime, do not heal or repair, and are not easily replaceable. Misalignment, also called malocclusion of teeth, is a prevalent problem that mostly starts in adolescence when permanent dentition starts.  


Most individuals have some degree of misalignment, but it is usually not severe enough to compromise biting function and general health. However, significantly misaligned teeth can lead to issues like mouth breathing, speaking and eating difficulties, and premature tooth wear.  


While most malocclusions are hereditary, the problem can also result from childhood habits like mouth breathing, tongue thrusting, reverse swallowing, and thumb sucking. Common types of malocclusion include misaligned teeth, overcrowded teeth, under-bite, crossbite, open bite, unevenly spaced teeth, protruding teeth, missing teeth, speech problems, discomfort when chewing or biting, and breathing through the mouth rather than the nose. 


The ideal alignment of teeth is in line, straight, and evenly spaced, with your top teeth fitting slightly over your bottom teeth, and the degree of misalignment is graded by dentists following this model.  

It is important to correct misalignment during adolescence because, if left untreated, it can lead to numerous issues in adulthood, often needing costly and distressing dental correction. If you have misaligned teeth, get an appointment with a reputable orthodontist in the vicinity. A quick online search with the keywords affordable orthodontic treatments near me will provide you with some options. 


The following article is here to enlighten you about the consequences of misaligned teeth.  


  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction 

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects the jawbone (mandible) to the skull, and it allows for the movement required for activities like chewing, speaking, and yawning. An incorrect bite, unequal pressure distribution, muscular strain, jaw joint discomfort, bruxism, and lockjaw can cause TMJ dysfunction. Improper tooth alignment can cause an improper bite, putting excessive stress on the TMJ and surrounding muscles. 

Moreover, the roots of teeth stimulate the jawbone, which aids in its density and strength maintenance. With misaligned teeth, the lack of stimulation can cause bone resorption, gradually weakening the jawbone. Improper tooth alignment can lead to improper jaw joint postures, resulting in TMJ discomfort, pain, and inflammation. In severe situations, the jaw joint may become temporarily "locked," making complete opening and closing of the mouth difficult or unpleasant. 


  • Masticatory limitation  

Mastication breaks down food into smaller pieces and prepares the food bolus for enzymatic digestion. The coordinated function of teeth, salivary glands, tongue, and masticatory muscles is necessary for this process. Masticatory function can be impaired in any of these areas, resulting in poor digestion. These factors lead to health issues, such as gastritis, ulcers, and malnutrition. 

Severe malocclusion can also cause mechanical disadvantage, reducing masticatory performance and general health-related quality of life.  

Interference can limit masticatory function while biting and chewing, muscle tiredness and pain, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ dysfunction), tooth sensitivity, and avoidance of specific foods.  


  • Periodontal Injury 

Studies suggest a significant relationship between malocclusion and periodontitis. Severe deep bite malocclusion can cause irreversible damage to the periodontium. Neglecting the necessary orthodontic treatment for long periods, sustained occlusal trauma can reduce alveolar bone density and widen the periodontal ligament space. Increased overjet, combined with mouth breathing or lip coverage, may increase gingivitis around incisor teeth. Severe mandibular incisor crowding and irregularity are linked to periodontal disease progression later in life. Irregular teeth can be difficult to clean, leading to plaque deposition, further exacerbating gingivitis. Widened periodontal ligament space, along with gingivitis, can lead to recession of the gums, further weakening the foundation of the teeth thus, increasing their risk of falling off later in life.  


  • Poor dental hygiene leads to bad breath  

Food trapping, plaque and tartar buildup, dry mouth, teeth grinding, and oral infections can all result from malocclusion. Food particles can become caught between teeth, providing a breeding environment for bacteria and resulting in bad breath. Misaligned teeth can make cleaning difficult, resulting in tartar buildup and foul odors. Misaligned jaws diminish saliva flow causing dry mouth, thus providing the dry environment needed for bacterial growth. Teeth grinding, particularly when sleeping, can cause enamel attrition, fractures, and dentin exposure, resulting in poor breath and dental sensitivity. The superimposition of teeth or being positioned at unusual angles makes thorough cleaning difficult and raises the risk of oral infections. 



  • Psychological stress resulting from misaligned teeth 

Constant stress and anxiety about one's appearance can negatively impact overall health and psychological wellness. Psychological stress from constantly feeling socially anxious can scar an individual’s personal relationships. It can worsen their sense of social isolation and deteriorate their personalities. Because of this stress and anxiety, some people who have misaligned teeth put off receiving dental care, which can worsen the condition and cause further oral health problems. 



  • Dental Injury and Tooth surface erosion 

A traumatic dental injury (TDI) is an impact injury to the teeth and or the hard and soft tissues within and around the mouth and oral cavity. It is usually sudden, circumstantial, or accidental and may cause an emergency. Teeth become more susceptible to fractures or chipping attributable to the uneven distribution of bite forces. Overjet and overbite issues, such as excessive overjet or deep overbite, can increase the risk of traumatic dental injuries, especially during accidents or falls. Improper tooth-to-tooth contact potentiate increased wear on specific teeth.   

Bruxism, where an individual grinds or clenches their teeth involuntarily, can wear down the enamel and lead to tooth surface loss. Teeth grinding and clenching can also result in dental injuries and enamel erosion in due course. Impacted teeth or crowding are harder to clean effectively. The tooth enamel is more susceptible to decay and erosion due to a higher risk of plaque buildup and bacterial growth. In some cases, improper tooth positioning can cause gum recession, where the tooth's root surface may become exposed, making it more vulnerable to erosion. 




Timely addressing issues, maintaining good oral hygiene, and regular dental checkups are vital for preserving the health of your teeth and reaping their innumerable benefits. Seeking early orthodontic treatment and addressing dental concerns can positively impact the physical and psychological well-being of individuals with misaligned teeth. It is important for us to be informed about the implications related to misaligned teeth so that well-advised decisions can be made regarding treatment.  









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