For many people, straight teeth are attributes signifying beauty, attractiveness, and success. Indeed, studies show that people who feel good about their smile laugh more often and are more relaxed in their approach to life. So it's not really surprising that straight teeth also contribute to a person's positive sense of well-being.
Do straight teeth mean better dental health?
Straight teeth and good dental health are not just desirable for purely aesthetic reasons. If not treated, misalignments (which dentists term malocclusions) can lead to a number of outcomes that are detrimental to health. Crowded teeth, for example, can result in poor oral hygiene because it is more difficult for your toothbrush to access spaces between the teeth, which in turn can promote the development of tooth decay, gingivitis and periodontitis. Furthermore, bite abnormalities often cause tension in the jaw and neck muscles which can then cause migraines and tinnitus. Even apparently "healthy" teeth can be severely affected because significantly misaligned teeth can lead to teeth grinding and, consequently, degradation of dental material.
First, the bad news: Misaligned teeth will require orthodontic treatment. Left untreated, they tend to simply get worse over time. But the good news is: there are now state-of-the-art treatment methods for correcting misaligned teeth, and these are both more affordable and more discreet than fixed dental braces.
Causes of misaligned teeth
Hardly anyone has naturally flawless teeth, with almost 70% of children and young people now opting for orthodontic treatment. And even those who wore braces during their childhood must be prepared for the possibility that their teeth may still shift again.
While a misaligned jaw and crooked teeth can be inherited, they can also be the result of thumb-sucking in early childhood. Furthermore, a lack of oral hygiene or dental accidents can also lead to tooth loss and the development of gaps between the teeth. In addition, habits such as pressing the tongue against the dental arch can gradually promote misaligned teeth over the longer term, sometimes requiring not only corrective treatment but also intervention from a speech therapist.
What are the different types of misaligned teeth?
The most common types of jaw and tooth misalignment are shown below. However, this is just a general overview. So if you have any further questions about particular kinds of misalignment and how these can be corrected, our experts will be only too pleased to help. Please call us free of charge, or book a free appointment for a dental consultation at a PlusDental practice in your area.
If the upper jaw is significantly larger than the lower jaw and there is a large gap between the two jaws, this is termed an overbite. Distances of around two to ten millimetres are considered acceptable and completely "normal". However, where this guideline value is exceeded, we strongly advise you to think about teeth correction because the following complications may occur:
biting becomes difficult because the incisor teeth are tilted
undesirable mouth breathing develops, which risks infection of the airways
increased risk of dental decay in your incisor teeth
patients complain of "buck teeth" and a "receding chin"
2. Deep bite or cover bite
Particularly pronounced overbites are also referred to in dental medicine as deep bites or cover bites. Here the upper front teeth tilt so far that they almost completely overlap the lower front teeth and touch the gums or palate. If left untreated, the affected areas become inflamed, and the gums can recede. The result is periodontitis and tooth loss. In addition, the temporomandibular joints become heavily stressed and will wear out faster.
3. Overbite and underbite in context
In visual terms, an underbite is the opposite of an overbite. From a purely anatomical point of view, the cause lies in the lower jaw, which is overly long compared to the upper dental arch. That's why the lower incisor teeth then cover the upper ones; a condition thus termed an overbite. Here, further complications can also arise, such as an overbite or a deep bite.
4. Crowded teeth
As the name itself suggests, crowded teeth develop because of a lack of space in the jaw. This happens when, as a result of genetics, the teeth are either too large or the jaw is too small. The outcomes can include impacted (ingrowing) teeth as well as crooked and twisted teeth. Consequently, the teeth are usually so close together that proper oral hygiene becomes difficult. Therefore, patients affected often suffer from:
dental decay (caries)
inflammation of the gums
periodontitis and damage to the periodontium
toothache from increased pressure
damage to the roots of the teeth
Did you know that tooth crowding in particular, as well as tooth gaps and twisted teeth, can be corrected with PlusDental invisible teeth aligners? This option not only compares favourably with fixed braces in financial terms, but teeth aligners are also much less conspicuous, more gentle in their corrective action, and you will begin to see results after just a few weeks. We already have more than 50,000 patients now happy to show off their beautiful smile. Wouldn't you like to do the same?
5. Open bite
An open bite is not where teeth are missing due to a tooth gap, as one might assume. This actually occurs when there is a horizontal gap between the upper and lower incisor teeth, even when the patient tries to clench their teeth. This condition severely impairs the ability to chew and bite. In addition, the tongue readily slides into this vacant gap, which is why patients often speak with a lisp. The constant flow of air dries out the oral cavity, which leads to incorrect breathing and respiratory infections as well as an increased risk of dental decay because not enough saliva is reaching the teeth.
6. Displaced teeth
The best-known kind of displaced or impacted teeth is ingrowing wisdom teeth. However, all incisors, molars, and canine teeth can also be affected by this type of misalignment. Such teeth are no longer functional because they are poorly positioned for chewing and biting. Left untreated, displaced teeth put pressure on adjacent teeth, which can cause them to shift, and nesting of teeth can also occur. In addition, the root of the affected tooth can become inflamed.
With a crossbite, your teeth don't come together properly and so literally bite beyond each other. This means the chewing surfaces of the teeth no longer meet as they should. The patient then has to make unnatural movements during eating, which leads to increased tooth wear and overloading of the jaw. This creates tension and pain.
8. Gaps and missing teeth
If teeth need to be extracted or you lose teeth due to an accident, there will be a gap. However, gaps also arise when the teeth are simply too small, and large distances develop between them. This can also be an inherited condition with certain teeth missing because of your genetic inheritance.
Your teeth are designed to support each other. So with your dental arch intact, the pressure created by chewing, for example, is evenly distributed. But if your dental arch is incomplete, your teeth can become loose. In addition, certain phonetic speech sounds are harder to form, which means others may notice the impairment.
9. Medial diastema
The diastema mediale (midline diastema) is a special form of tooth gap which presents as an extended distance between your two central incisor teeth. This misalignment has caught public attention primarily because of well-known actors and singers such as Vannessa Paradis and Madonna. In fact, because of its associations, this gap has acquired an iconic status, which is why many patients choose not to have this kind of diastema closed.
10. Too many teeth
A so-called hyperdontia is much rarer than missing teeth because too many teeth is, again, the result of genetics. Tooth crowding usually occurs hand in hand with an excess number of teeth, subsequently leading to crooked teeth and the nesting of teeth.
Discreet tooth correction with invisible teeth aligners
The golden rule with any kind of tooth correction is that it is never too late. Orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth is also available to adults. And thanks to the latest medical technology, fixed braces are not the only option. PlusDental's invisible teeth aligners often prove a promising alternative, very much on a par with fixed braces. Of course, there are also more extreme cases where teeth have to be surgically straightened, which then means a visit to an oral surgeon is unavoidable.
Visibly straight teeth thanks to invisible PlusDental teeth aligners
Whether its to address crowded teeth or close a tooth gap, many misaligned teeth can be corrected with PlusDental's invisible teeth aligners. During a free consultation, our experienced dentists will create an intraoral 3D dental scan. We then create a personal treatment plan for you in our Berlin dental laboratory, which we will send you via e-mail. This shows how our removable teeth aligners will move your teeth and what the results will look like after your treatment.
Tooth correction with transparent teeth aligners is a gentle, safe, and inexpensive process. And whether you have crooked teeth, crowded teeth, or tooth gaps – mild to moderate cases can be corrected in four to ten months.
Adults should think carefully about the type of tooth correction they choose because these costs are often not covered by health insurance. In comparison to fixed braces, invisible teeth aligners are a more cost-effective treatment and in no way inferior to other forms of treatment in terms of efficiency, safety, and medical standards.