The science of correcting misaligned teeth has helped countless people gain or regain their confidence by improving the look and function of their smiles. Straighter teeth are much more pleasant to look at, and can also help you avoid many of the dental maladies that can occur from crooked teeth, such as malocclusion (a misaligned bite) and TMJ disorder (distress in your jaw joints). One of the most significant benefits to straighter teeth, however, is the ability to effectively keep your mouth clean. When your teeth do not line up properly, the jagged edges and odd corners offer excellent hiding spots for oral bacteria to rest, often out of reach of your toothbrush. To highlight the significance of eliminating these hiding spots, Lake Worth orthodontist Dr. Ciro Cabal explains some of the malicious microbes that can be found in your mouth and the destruction they cause.
The Tooth Decay Microbe
Among the most talked about oral bacteria is the one that is largely responsible for tooth decay. Streptococcus mutans consumes the sugars and carbs in your diet, then converts them into lactic acid, which attacks and weakens your tooth enamel (your tooth’s first and most powerful line of defense). While enamel is the strongest substance in your body (and the second strongest substance in the world, only weaker than diamond), it is subject to acid erosion. As the acid attacks and saps minerals from your tooth, the enamel grows weaker until it can no longer repel bacteria. This process is called demineralization, and is the beginning phase of tooth decay and cavity formation.
The Gum Disease Germ
Another notorious bacterial strain that likes to hang out around your gums is Porphyromonas gingivalis, which is known to induce your immune system’s inflammatory response to begin the destruction of gum disease. When these bacteria accumulate along your gum line, your body reacts to their harmful presence and your gums become red and inflamed, marking the beginning stage of gum disease called gingivitis. When left unchecked, the irritation causes your gums to separate from your teeth and the infection begins destroying your gums, supporting jawbone structure, and the connective ligaments that support your teeth. Because of its inflammatory instigation, P. gingivalis is also a suspected culprit in the oral-systemic connection, which relates oral health issues to chronic systemic illnesses, such as heart disease and other inflammatory diseases.
Make Fighting Oral Bacteria Easier
The above-mentioned germs are only two of the over 600 different kinds of bacteria in your mouth. Most of them are harmless; in fact, some of them may even be vital components to the ecology of your mouth. However, S. mutans and P. gingivalis are not the only malicious ones, and eliminating all of the harmful bacteria from your mouth is not currently a possibility. Your best defense against the effects of these germs is to limit their presence by brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day. When your smile suffers from crooked teeth, however, brushing may not be able to reach every nook and cranny created by the shape and alignment of your teeth. Straightening your teeth can vastly improve your chances of successful oral health maintenance, and help protect you from the damage caused by hiding germs. To learn more about straightening your smile or protecting your oral health, call Lake Country Orthodontics today at (817) 236-7846 to schedule a consultation with your Lake Worth orthodontist. Located in the 76135 area, we proudly serve families from Lake Worth, Azle, Saginaw, Springtown, Weatherford, Haslet, Lake Worth, and all surrounding communities.