Cosmetic Dentistry Isn’t Always About Looks

Cosmetic Dentistry Isn’t Always About Looks

Cosmetic dentistry is usually touted for improving one’s looks but there are also reasons that have nothing to  do with vanity. Some individuals  pursue it for reasons of health, and of course, they get a perfect smile as part of the deal.

Malocclusion

Malocclusion, in layman’s terms, a bad bite, occurs when the teeth do not align as they should. This is often a a hereditary condition and may consist in the upper jaw being larger than the lower, or vice versa. Likewise a difference between jaw and tooth size can result in overcrowded teeth or an abnormal bite pattern. A bad bite may sound minor and in most cases, it is, but in the following instances, health can be impaired.

  • TMJ:  Misaligned teeth. when they are located in the lower jaw, can create such pressure that the jaw itself becomes misaligned. Known as  temporomandibular joint disorder, (TMJ) the condition gets its name from the involved joint. People with TMJ disorder typically suffer from disabling headaches.
  • Hearing Problems:  Since the temporomandibular joint is the joint in front of each ear, when misaligned, it can damage the nerves in the ear and bring on tinnitus, a ringing or buzzing in one or both ears. Tinnitus may be present occasionally or constantly, varying from a low roar to a high pitched squeal. In severe cases, the sound can be so loud it interferes with the ability to hear.
  • Digestive problems: Chewing food stimulates saliva production. Saliva, contains an enzyme known as amylase, which in conjunction with stomach acids, liquefy the food into a semi-fluid mass to be transported to the small intestine for chemical digestion. Misaligned teeth that prevent proper chewing disrupt this process and can lead to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD, whose most common symptom is heartburn or acid indigestion. Malocclusion can also lead to stomach ulcers.
  • Periodontal Disease: When malocclusion results in crowded teeth, tartar collects and gum disease develops. This can lead to bone loss and loose teeth, and can put some people at risk for stroke or heart attack.

Cosmetic Dentistry and Malocclusion

Individuals afflicted with malocclusion often turn to cosmetic dentistry in San Diego for an invisible alternative to braces. Cosmetic dentists fit them with removable clear aligning appliances that gradually straighten the teeth. In severe cases, it may also be necessary to extract one or more teeth and fill the resulting gaps with dental implants that look and act like natural teeth.

All these treatments come with side effects: a bright smile, better health, and enhanced self esteem.

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