Today’s cosmetic dentistry does a lot more than make your smile more beautiful; it often enhances your oral health. If you have cracked, chipped, misaligned, or crooked teeth or an unsightly gap between your teeth, modern dental technology has answers for you.
Cosmetic dentistry not only improves the way your teeth, gums, and bite look, it can help your teeth and gums stay healthy. In fact, many of today’s common dental procedures fall under the aegis of cosmetic dentistry:
- Crowns (caps)
- Gum grafts
- Teeth whitening
- Tooth reshaping
- Invisalign® orthodontics
- Bite reclamation
- Inlays and onlays
Following are some of the health benefits of cosmetic dentistry.
Preventing tooth decay
If you have crooked teeth that are bunched up against one another, it’s more difficult to clean between them. Your chance of tooth decay increases, leading to cavities. If you have a large cavity that takes up a lot of the tooth, it’s more likely to fracture. A dental crown can save the tooth and prevent bone loss. Today’s crowns match the color and shape of your surrounding teeth.
If your teeth are misaligned, it means the top teeth don’t fit properly over the bottom teeth. You may have a pronounced overbite, where your top teeth protrude too much; an underbite, where your bottom teeth protrude more than your top row of teeth; or a crossbite, where some of the top teeth are under your bottom teeth.
When your teeth are misaligned and your bite isn’t correct, a variety of health issues can ensue — headaches, tooth decay, tooth grinding, and possibly gum disease. You may have difficulty with chewing and even speaking. Misalignment can lead to pain in your jaw every time you eat and a condition called TMJ, which is an injury to the major joint in your jaw, the temporomandibular joint.
A missing tooth can also cause misalignment. If you lose a tooth and leave the gap, your other teeth may begin to loosen and move out of line, starting a chain reaction affecting your oral health. Today’s modern dental implants are an excellent choice for tooth replacement if you’ve had a tooth extracted. Implants prevent other teeth from shifting out of place, and they help your jawbone and other teeth remain healthy.
Cosmetic dentistry includes orthodontics, both traditional and Invisalign, to correct misalignment of your teeth.
Preventing gum disease
If your teeth are too crowded and become crooked, or if you have a poor bite, you could be at increased risk for gum disease. When your teeth are crowded together, it’s almost impossible to clean between them. Excess bacteria remains in your mouth, causing inflammation in your gums, called gingivitis.
When too much inflammation occurs, the gum pulls away from your teeth and forms pockets of bacteria. These pockets of bacteria can eventually destroy bone and tissue that keep your teeth in place. In severe cases, bone loss causes jaw disfigurement.
Researchers believe gum disease may increase your risk of heart disease by narrowing arteries leading to the heart. Your oral health is inextricably connected to your overall health. Orthodontics can correct misalignment and crooked teeth, helping to avoid gingivitis and advanced gum disease.
Call or book an appointment online with Scott Evans, DDS, for expert care for your cosmetic and general dentistry needs.