A smile is a crucial social asset, and many people believe a straight and whitened smile can lead to success in careers and relationships. But if your smile isn’t everything you want it to be, you might not have the confidence to put yourself out there.
For some people with poorly aligned smiles, confidence may be the least of their worries. A misaligned jaw can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder, more commonly known as TMJ. TMJ effects about 5-12% of the world’s population, and is most common in younger individuals and females.
TMJ disorder is the second most prevalent cause of orofacial pain, surpassed only by tooth decay and ache. The worst cases of TMJ can even lead to hearing loss. Solutions like adult braces, mouth splints, pain relievers and muscle relaxers are often used to fight TMJ.
Jaw misalignment is also believed to contribute to headaches and even migraines, and some people experience relief from chronic headaches after receiving adult braces and other orthodontic treatments.
When the jaw isn’t aligned, teeth are often worn down faster and are more at risk for problems like tooth decay and periodontal disease.
Though most children are receive braces from orthodontic specialists between ages 6 and 10, there are still plenty of options out there for young and old adults who need tooth straightening. The American Association of Orthodontics reports that 80% of U.S. teenagers are currently receiving treatment from an orthodontist, and the amount of U.S. adults seeking orthodontic treatment has increased by 24% in the past ten years.
There are plenty of options for adult braces that won’t look as conspicuous as adolescent braces often do. Invisible braces that fit over your teeth correct your smile and jaw without brackets and metal wiring, and other options fit behind your teeth to be less conspicuous. You can also ask about veneers, which will make your smile look whiter and straighter.