Orthodontics is one of the outermost limits of dentistry, not just because of the extensive lab work and gear that is used, but because it does not always deal exclusively with the teeth. Orthodontic treatment needs to take into account the rest of the face, including the jawbone, the neck, the face muscles, and the size, proportion and shape of the face and oral cavity, all just as much as the alignment of teeth. When giving orthodontic treatment, the dentist is administering a treatment that will affect all the structures mentioned above, and not just the teeth. And because of this, the orthodontic treatment administered can cure more than just the alignment of teeth. It can help with a number of problems, from aesthetic appearances to problems that cause pain and irritation, and in this way orthodontic treatment can really improve the quality of your life.
Your skeleton is the base of a vast and extremely complex system that is your body. Your muscles and organs rest on your skeleton, and your nerves, tendons and veins are also affected by how your bones work, and at what angles they are positioned. In the head and neck area this is particularly true, as this is where a lot of nerves start out from, what with the brain being located in your skull, and the spine goes through this area as well. And this is why having crooked teeth can cause pains not only in your jaw, but in your neck, head, back and even as far down as your lower back and hip area! It sounds pretty crazy, but consider the following:
- If your teeth are misaligned that means that every time you bite down or tend to close your mouth, you will be diverting your TMJ (temporo-mandibular joint), causing pain and an unnecessary stretching of the muscles that connect directly to your neck. Because of this, your jaw will not be in a resting position, thus your neck will be affected. This pain will cause the neck to stand at funny angles, with muscles that are deviated from the way they are supposed to be, which in turn affects the back muscles and the muscles near the spine, which are chock full of nerve endings, and this can radiate all the way down to your lower back. And all this just from biting funny.
Orthodontics can also change the way you look. If your teeth protrude, it will give you a certain look, and if you have an underbite, you will look more “pitbullish”, if you have a noticeable overbite, you will also have a certain look. The way you keep your lips, how your lips look, and the symmetry of your face, is something that keeps on coming up as being extremely important in human pair bonding. All these things can be improved by orthodontic treatment.
This is why sometimes, orthodontics should be considered by people who have relatively straight bites, or by people whose bites do not bother them, and can clean their teeth easily as well, as some of those annoying jaw, neck and head pain can be cured, and your appearance can be improved by orthodontics, too.