Straight Teeth Are Healthy Teeth: Why Alignment Matters

At Legacy Dentistry in Ballwin, MO our expert dental team offers a wide range of services that improve your teeth’s form and

Crooked teeth and gaps in your smile can be real confidence busters. But perfectly straight teeth tend to boost your self-image. No wonder so many people invest in orthodontics to achieve the ideal smile. More than 4 million Americans wear braces and that number continues to climb annually. But the trend is not just an exercise in vanity, it’s a move toward better oral health.

At Legacy Dentistry, our expert dental team offers a wide range of services that improve your teeth’s form and function. We know that misaligned teeth can cause problems beyond what you see in the mirror, so it’s important to come see if you have an off-set bite, large gaps, or crooked teeth. 

Here’s why alignment makes a difference in your overall oral health.

Misaligned teeth explained

When your teeth are misalignment or crooked, that’s what dentists call malocclusion. There are many different variations of malocclusion, including:

In essence, anything that prevents the teeth in your upper jaw from fitting in neatly with the teeth in your lower jaw is considered malocclusion.

Why is malocclusion bad?

Ideally, your teeth fit together perfectly to allow for optimal chewing, grinding, and even talking. But when you have malocclusion, it begins a chain reaction of dental problems. Here are a few of them.


If you have overcrowded or rotated teeth, you’ll likely find it difficult to clean in between those extra nooks and crannies. Poor cleaning invites decay-causing bacteria to eat away at your teeth. In extreme situations, infection can even creep into your jaw bone.

Gum disease

Inability to clean your teeth well also leads to gum disease called gingivitis. When you can’t floss between your teeth, bacteria stay trapped and begin to infect your gums. You may notice a little tenderness when you brush your teeth and even a little blood when you spit in the sink. If left untreated, gingivitis can advance to periodontitis, which calls for medical intervention.

Danger to soft tissue

Malocclusion can cause you to bite down on the soft tissues in your mouth, leading to a never-ending cycle of painful sores. You may notice bites or tender areas inside your cheeks, on your gums, and on your tongue.

Lopsided wear and tear

Misaligned teeth hit one another with varying degrees of pressure from very little to way too much. This means you may wear down certain teeth more than others, which can lead to pain, tooth damage, and even tooth loss.

Jaw pain

On either side of your jaw are tiny joints called temporomandibular joints (TMJs). If your jaws don’t line up, these joints can feel the stress and lead to TMJ pain. For some people, this can cause facial and head pain, too.

Treating malocclusion

Fortunately, solving your malocclusion problem is a common and simple procedure. It does take time, but the result is a brighter smile and a healthier mouth. To make the process convenient and painless, we offer Invisalign®. This innovative teeth-straightening system uses on clear aligners to gently guide your teeth into the proper position. The aligners are removable, which means you can eat anything you want during the process, removing the restrictions of traditional braces.

In a short time, you’ll receive the health and cosmetic benefits of straighter teeth. To get started simply call our office or book an appointment online.

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