Crowded teeth isn’t only a cosmetic concern

Crowded teeth isn’t only a cosmetic concern

Taking care of your teeth can be one of the more challenging aspects of keeping your body healthy.

Most people know enough to brush twice a day and floss after every meal, but other than this, the teeth remain mostly an enigma to the average person.

One of the most common yet least known about issues is crowded teeth.

While crowded teeth might sound like merely a cosmetic problem, it can actually wreak havoc in your overall health in a variety of ways.

Today, I’m going to delve into what you need to know about crowded teeth, so your oral hygiene can continue to be in tiptop shape.

What are crowded teeth and how do you get them?

Crowded teeth, also referred to as malocclusion, simply means that your teeth are misaligned, which results in a variety of issues depending on the person. Because the teeth are crowded, they begin growing in abnormal directions due to lack of room.

For most of my patients, crowded teeth are an inherited trait. It depends on a person’s jaw and teeth size. However, there are a number of ways to develop crowded teeth on your own, many of which occur as a child.

I recommend parents to keep an eye out for pervasive thumb-sucking and refrain from prolonged pacifier and bottle usage, all of which could all result in the misalignment of teeth in children. It’s also possible for poorly fitted dental fillings, retainers, and braces to cause crowded teeth, hence why it’s important to see an experienced dentist.

What are the consequences of crowded teeth?

When the teeth are packed together, it becomes difficult for your toothbrush or floss to reach certain places. This allows bacteria and plaque to go unattended, resulting in stains and tar buildup.

Malocclusion can cause

  • frequent tongue biting
  • speech problems
  • for younger children, new teeth to grow where they shouldn’t
  • teeth are harder to clean, making them susceptible to plaque buildup and gum disease
  • can result in a TMJ disorder

When you have a TMJ disorder, it means there’s great pain in the joints and muscles that operate your jaw, resulting in a myriad of painful symptoms

maloccolusion can cause

What is the best crowded teeth treatment?

While minor misalignments in the teeth are relatively normal, moderate or severe deviations can cause pain and should be treated.

Braces

One of the most common techniques in modern orthodontics for treating crowded teeth is braces, which use a metal wire to realign the teeth.

Tooth Removal

Sometimes, in cases of extreme overcrowding, the removal of certain teeth can help get the rest of the teeth back on track.

Some teeth don’t need to be entirely removed. Instead, they can be reshaped or adjusted, which creates the desired room for the rest of the teeth to flourish. In rare cases, surgery is required in order to reshape or shorten the jaw, but only if there’s extreme misalignment.

Clear Aligners or Invisalign®

Clear braces is a form of orthontics that’s attractive to adults and teens because they are nearly invisible. The smooth, clear material is custom made in the lab and designed to fit snugly on your teeth, so there is no discomfort or unsightly metal brackets.  It can be easier to brush and floss during your treatment, as compared to traditional ortho, for better oral health.

Click here to read more about Invisalign.

Which of these is best for you?

I recommend making an appointment with us and getting a personal diagnosis. Crowded teeth can be spotted during a routine exam, although x-rays are sometimes required to get the most complete picture.

Treatment itself is about a six-month to two-year process, although it can go longer. Treatment for children and adolescents is easiest, as their bones and teeth are more malleable than an adults’.

We… believe in making your life easy

My team and I know you have a lot on your plate.

Worrying about your teeth can sometimes fall to the bottom of the pile when it comes to your many responsibilities.

That’s why we go out of our way to make sure something like crowded teeth is diagnosed and treated in the most efficient way possible.

For parents, be sure to remember to take preventative measures with your children, as their behavior at a young age can affect their oral health for years to come.

As always, it’s best to seek treatment as soon as possible. If there’s a problem, we can fix it before it gets worse. If there’s no problem, then that’s even better. Either way, you’re in good hands with your local Mount Prospect dentist.

Do you have any further questions regarding crowded teeth? Feel free to contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Not only do we love working on teeth, but we love talking about them, too!

Seniors with Missing Teeth: Solutions and How it Impacts Their Overall Health

Seniors with Missing Teeth: Solutions and How it Impacts Their Overall Health

As we get older, our bodies aren’t as strong as they used to be. It isn’t uncommon to receive diagnoses of osteoporosis, heart disease, arthritis, or even experience tooth loss.

Some people assume that a missing tooth or two is common, something that we’ll all have to deal with eventually. A few people even believe they’ll be in full dentures by the time they reach a certain age, simply because others in their family may have experienced that.

But does it have to be that way? Is there a solution for people with missing teeth?

Dental Implants- an ideal solution for a missing Tooth

Thankfully- the answer is yes! Dental implants are playing a vital role in the health of my patients. Those with implants have healthier dentition, as well as stronger facial bone support.

Dental implants are pretty amazing. They are so strong and stable in the jaw bone that people who have them feel like they’re talking and chewing with their original teeth.

How do dental implants work?

3 reasons why dental implants are the best choice to replace missing teeth

1. First, the implant post, made of an incredibly strong metal that is bio-compatible with human bone, is placed into the jaw bone. Once placed, the metal implant integrates into the jaw bone, which means that the bone grows around and fuses to the implant post.

2. After a few months, once the bone and implant have fused, I expose the top of the implant. It shows through the gum just a bit – enough for a dental crown to securely fit on top of it.

3. This dental crown looks, fits, and feels like a real tooth. Patients can floss normally and eat any food they want.

Missing Teeth: How It Impacts Senior Health

All of this talk about implants makes them sound like a wonderful investment – which they are! But some people wonder if dental implants are more of a luxury than a necessity. Do they really need to be concerned with replacing missing teeth?

Definitely! Missing teeth can have an adverse effect on a person’s oral health as well as their general health.

1. Jaw Bone Recession

dental-implants-tom-meyer-dentist-des-plaines-chicago

The teeth act as an anchor for the jaw bone. Without teeth, the jaw has nothing to support. So, it slowly begins to recede. You may have noticed this with people who have worn full dentures for many years. Their jaw bone – particularly the mandible, or the lower jaw – is very thin.

Jaw bone recession doesn’t just happen when people lose all their teeth. It can and will happen with one missing tooth.

The recession won’t necessarily affect the entire jaw bone, but it will affect the bone around the missing tooth. It’s really easy for people with one missing tooth to experience bone loss and gum disease around adjacent teeth. If not properly cared for at home and with the assistance of a dental professional, the problem could escalate and more teeth could be lost.

2. Loss of Vital Nutrients

Happy elderly couple having breakfast in kitchen, smiling at camera.

But missing teeth don’t just affect the mouth – there are general health consequences as well.

The digestive process begins in the mouth. Enzymes in our mouth begin breaking down the food we eat. Chewing breaks the food down even more.
When a person loses a tooth, chewing becomes more difficult. The more teeth that are missing, the more difficult proper chewing becomes. Denture wearers find it even harder to eat because their dentures can become loose and uncomfortable.

Overtime, those who can’t chew their food properly will end up losing out on vital nutrients. Some have even lost interest in eating altogether, which compounds the nutrient problem.

But when patients replace missing teeth with dental implants or invest in implant supported dentures, chewing is easier and nutrients are more likely to be absorbed.

How dental implants can benefit those with dentures

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, almost 28% of seniors are fully edentulous. That’s quite a few people who are dealing with dentures, and one of the reasons why so many people think that losing a teeth or ending up with dentures later in life is something that is common to most people.
For those who already live with dentures, I want to encourage you to consider implant dentures.

Implant developers have created what’s known as implant supported dentures. This means that fully edentulous seniors can now be candidates for implants.

How implant dentures work

1-implants-dentures

1. We start with implant surgery. Four to six implants are placed on your upper arch and four to six are placed in the lower jaw bone as well.

2.The dentures have clips that fit onto the implants. They snap into place, like a snap-button shirt.

Not only do these dentures keep the bone strong, they keep the dentures secure. Eating is much easier and the dentures won’t become loose or fall out. It’s an ideal long-term solution for denture wearers.

Consider Restoring Your Missing Teeth with Implants

If you have a missing tooth or teeth, I urge you to consider getting dental implants from my Meyer Dental Group Des Plaines dental office. Dental implants will help keep your jaw bone healthy and allow you to chew foods thoroughly – an absolute must for proper digestion.

I invite you to come in for a complimentary consultation. Together, we can find the best solution for your dental needs.

Are you interested in replacing missing teeth with dental implants? Contact my Des Plaines dental office for more information about this procedure.

Learn about traditional braces

Learn about traditional braces

A “bad bite” or malocclusion can affect your dental health, overall health, and self-confidence.  Malocclusion is the dental term for teeth that don’t fit together properly. It literally means “bad bite.” Malocclusion that is not corrected can affect your profile and appearance. Traditional braces can be used to bring teeth into proper alignments again.

About orthodontic treatments

Orthodontic treatments will usually start once all baby teeth have been lost.  However, we are seeing the importance and great impact of early intervention orthodontics.   While children are in transition of baby teeth to their permanent teeth, orthodontic therapy can help widen the dental arches.  This will often times allow permanent teeth to come into the ideal position on their own, as well as increase airway spaces allowing for better oxygen exchange for optimal health and development.

Problems that come with a “bad bite”

Poorly aligned teeth can also contribute to the following:

  • tooth decay
  • bone loss of teeth
  • jaw joint problems

In turn, jaw joint problems can cause

Correct your bite with braces

Correcting your bite through traditional braces can improve your dental health as well as your overall health with an added bonus of boosting your self-confidence and giving you a terrific looking smile!

At Meyer Dental Group, we are happy to evaluate you to find out of traditional braces or early intervention orthodontics is right for you!  We proudly serve the Des Plaines, Mt Prospect, Arlington Heights, Chicago and surrounding areas.  Call us at (847)827-6290 or make an appointment for your orthodontic consultation.

Health benefits of cosmetic dental treatments in Des Plaines

Health benefits of cosmetic dental treatments in Des Plaines

3 HEALTH BENEFITS OF COSMETIC DENTAL TREATMENTS

Cosmetic dentistry is a widely discussed topic these days, and with good reason. It’s difficult not to notice how quickly and drastically it can improve your smile, and having a more beautiful appearance can certainly help to give you a boost of confidence.

Your Des Plaines dentist also wants you to know about some of the important health benefits. Cosmetic dental treatments can help to:

1. Reduce your risk for tooth decay and gum disease

Choosing to straighten crooked teeth with braces can do more than make your teeth look nicer. Tightly squeezed together teeth are often difficult to clean and create ideal nooks and crannies for plaque and bacteria to hide in, even when there is consistent oral hygiene.

2. Prevent a misaligned bite

Life happens and sometimes that means missing teeth. Whether your dentist had to remove one or more teeth, or you experienced some other trauma/injury, any missing teeth should be replaced.

When a gap is left anywhere along your gum line, the neighboring teeth can begin to drift into the open space. This shifting can change the alignment of your bite and cause other problems for your teeth and your overall health. This includes tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, and TMJ, a painful jaw joint disorder. Your dentist has many excellent and natural-looking options to replace missing teeth, including:

  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Implants

3. Treat TMJ

TMJ disorders often result from dental issues, such as a bad bite caused by missing or crooked teeth. Over time, this misaligned bite can put pressure on the jaw joints. Without treatment, you may begin to feel pain in the joints or hear a clicking noise when you chew, talk or yawn.

Fortunately, your dentist can treat the individual dental issues that caused your jaw misalignment. Overtime, these procedures work to correct your bite, realign your jaw and allow your jaw muscles to relax and heal. A dental approach helps to reduce or even resolve the pain for many TMJ sufferers. TMJ treatment may include:

  • Orthotics
  • Braces
  • Bridges, crowns and implants

Where can you learn more?

We believe a great smile makes a difference. If you are live in Des Plaines, and want to find a cosmetic dentist that believes in providing premium dental care, contact Dr. Meyer to arrange for a consultation.