San Francisco and Marin CA
Your teeth can be a window to what’s going on inside your body. Having crooked, misaligned or stained teeth often impacts a person’s personal and professional confidence. But beyond cosmetic issues, bad teeth can indicate – and cause – serious health problems. Let’s take a look at some of the consequences and health risks of having bad teeth:
Bad teeth can lead to social shame, preventing people from feeling confident in their personal and professional lives. We’ve all probably known someone who has refused to smile for a picture because they’re embarrassed by their poorly aligned, chipped, broken, decaying or missing teeth. Missing teeth can also impact someone’s speech or pronunciation of words, leading them to feel self-conscious about communicating. Improper oral care can also cause bad breath, which can cause awkward social situations. Bad teeth can also have personal consequences. For instance, people with decaying teeth may have to avoid their favorite foods and beverages because eating or drinking anything hot, cold or sweet can cause severe tooth pain.
Bad teeth can carry serious health consequences, too. Incorrectly aligned teeth, for instance, can cause bruxism, or teeth-grinding, especially while sleeping at night. Bruxism can be painful due to the jaw being overworked during grinding. This can lead to headaches and toothaches. It also often causes issues with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which connects the lower jaw to the skull and allows the mouth to open and close. TMJ disorder can lead to pain and a clicking or popping in the jaw when a person is simply chewing, drinking, swallowing, speaking, singing or yawning.
Poorly aligned teeth can also make brushing difficult, encouraging bacteria to collect in the mouth. This is a vicious cycle because the bacteria then cause tooth decay, leading to further tooth pain down the road.
A person suffering from oral pain could have to restrict his or her diet so much that it threatens the intake of vitamins and minerals. This can cause malnutrition, which can then lead to conditions such as hair loss, difficulty concentrating, lethargy, weakness and muscle loss. Even more concerning: scientists have linked poor oral health with chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
Having bad teeth can cause a number of issues, from feeling self-conscious to more serious and potentially deadly health problems. The good news is that proper oral care – routine brushing, flossing and professional dental cleanings twice a year – can help prevent or correct almost all the potential consequences of bad teeth, leading to a happier, healthier you.
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