Beyond the cosmetic reasons for orthodontic treatment, there are a number of ways that seeing an orthodontist can improve your health—even if you’re over 21!
A bad bite can be detrimental to your overall well-being. People who have malocclusions—when both sets of teeth do not ‘bite’ properly—can experience a range of unexpected health problems. By correcting your bite, an orthodontist can help you alleviate many common symptoms and chronic conditions to help you improve your overall quality of life.
The following are nine common health conditions that many of our patients—children and adults alike—find can be alleviated with orthodontic treatment such as braces, Invisalign or other corrective alternatives:
If you suffer from reoccurring headaches and/or pressure behind your eyes, temples or at the back of the head, it could be due to jaw tension, grinding or popping. A complex network of muscles, tendons, joints and bones all work together within your head and neck, and when there is an imbalance of these forces, it can lead to chronic headaches.
Neck ache / Shoulder pain
An imbalance in the forces of the same network of muscles, tendons, joints and bones that can lead to headaches can also lead to neck and shoulder ache and strain.
TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint, which attaches your lower jaw to the base of the skull and is used for chewing. If you experience pain or tenderness in your jaw, pain in or around your ears, difficulty/discomfort chewing, locking of the jaw joint or an overall uncomfortable bite, it may be the result of TMJ. Orthodontic treatment can realign your jaw to alleviate some of these symptoms. Left untreated, TMJ can cause serious tooth damage and wear.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, are a chronic snorer or just suffer from poor sleep in general, it might be due to a lack of oxygen caused by a misaligned jaw. Your jaw posture can have a big impact on your breathing, and corrective alignment treatments can lead to improved oxygen flow, and as a result, give you a better night’s sleep.
If you suffer from mouth breathing or other difficulties breathing, the shape of your mouth and jaw may be to blame. The structure of your mouth and jaw can cause your sinuses to be narrow and compressed. By making adjustments to your palate and jaw, the sinuses widen which can allow for a more efficient airflow.
Improved oral hygiene
Sometimes oral hygiene can be harder because of common problems like crooked teeth or overcrowding. By correcting these issues with orthodontic treatment, taking care of your teeth can be a lot easier. As a result, your oral hygiene will improve. This reduces the risk of gum disease and ensures your teeth are more likely to last throughout your lifetime.
Irritable bowel syndrome
Some theories link overall good oral hygiene with the treatment and management of IBS. The mouth is the beginning of the digestive tract, so poor oral hygiene can negatively impact other parts of your digestive health.
Ease of other dental work
Even if you practice good oral hygiene, there may come a time when you will require dental work such as restorations, crowns or bridges. It’s often difficult for your dentist to provide care without prior repositioning of your teeth by an orthodontist. Orthodontic treatment for a better smile now can ensure less complicated outcomes in the future.
Higher Self Esteem
If your teeth aren’t as straight and beautiful as you would like, it can lead to anxiety in social situations. Many people report more self-confidence, higher self-esteem and less stress as the result of corrective orthodontic work.
Get in touch with us today—we have locations in Halifax, Dartmouth, Moncton, Charlottetown, Truro, Amherst and Summerside!—and schedule a FREE consultation to find out how orthodontic treatment may be able to improve your overall health. Or, download the FREE Braces & Invisalign Guide for Adults to discover more information about how treatment will help address these symptoms and many more.