Smile David Ross Orthodontics in Hanover, PA and Lutherville-Timonium, MD

The Dangers of Putting off Orthodontic Treatment

To date, over 8 million people have used Invisalign to help straighten their teeth and achieve the smiles they deserve. This number includes 1.4 million teens, 47% of whom — when surveyed — responded that they had a boost of self-esteem during treatment compared to only 22% of teens with metal braces who responded the same. Due to advancements such as Invisalign, more and more people are getting braces when they had previously put off treatment.

However, even with this increase, there are still those who believe that as an adult it’s too late to seek treatment. This can be very detrimental to both oral and physical health, as complications from severe problems can create additional problems that affect the whole body. Here are some reasons why you should never put off seeing an orthodontic specialist and should consider treatment if it has been recommended.

Misaligned Bites

Orthodontists are capable of spotting the beginnings of a misaligned bite pattern in patients who are between the ages of 6 and 12. Because of this, orthodontics treatment is typically begun between the ages of 8 and 14. However, if the problem was never treated and is allowed to continue, it can grow to interfere with chewing and put additional strain on the jaw, muscles, and teeth. In some cases, patients can even experience TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) as a result of the pressure created by a misaligned bite. Misaligned bites can also increase the risk of developing cavities and contracting gingivitis.

Problems such as this are not uncommon, and it is estimated that nearly 75% of the adult population is currently living with some form of a misaligned bite. While mild cases may not cause much discomfort, as severity increases so do the necessity for treatment. This makes seeking help from an orthodontic specialist all the more important, especially if you are already experiencing difficulties or pain.

Preventing Cavities

Malocclusions such as an abnormal bite and gapped or overcrowded teeth can also put patients at an increased risk of developing cavities. Because of their increased frequency, treating them quickly is essential. If cavities are left alone they can go on to harm the body in surprising ways. For instance, poor oral health can put you at risk for cardiovascular disease due to the bacteria from inflamed gums entering into the bloodstream. This can cause plaque to form and harden in the arteries causing complications that can lead to hypertension and an increased risk of stroke. Endocarditis can also occur which is an often fatal condition that sees the lining of the heart becoming infected.

Respiratory infections caused by inhaling the bacteria can also occur, as can pregnancy complications. Fortunately, frequent check-ups and cleanings can help prevent cavities from occurring; however, if you are experiencing frequent cavities due to malocclusions, the only way to put a stop to the problem is to fix that underlying issue.

If you have been told by a dentist that you have a misaligned bite or similar problem that needs an orthodontic specialist, don’t put treatment on the back burner. Seeing an orthodontic specialist and undergoing the necessary treatment is the only way to ensure that you are able to maintain your oral health and keep your whole body healthier. Braces have no age limit and it’s never too late to seek the help you need to regain control of your oral health.

Schedule a free consultation with our Hanover orthodontist as soon as possible so that you can receive the treatment you need today!