If you have problems with the overall health of your teeth, you may automatically think you need to see a family dentist and may assume a person would only see an orthodontist to make teeth look good. However, there are some dental issues that are more related to orthodontics because those problems are actually related to how teeth are aligned. Note a few of those concerns here and why an orthodontist may be the better option than just your family dentist.
Tooth decay and gum disease
When teeth are misaligned, they may be harder to clean. You can't slide floss between them as easily or reach all areas of the tooth with your brush when they're crooked and rub up against each other. In turn, those teeth may be more prone to decay, and your mouth may be prone to gum disease. Of course, a dentist can fill in cavities that are the result of too much sugar or acidic foods in the diet or simply from age and standard wear, but if you notice that keeping your teeth clean is a challenge, see an orthodontist about straightening them.
Teeth can chip because the protective enamel has worn down; this can happen as you age or because of sugary and acidic foods, as mentioned above. However, protruding teeth are more likely to chip because they absorb impact from every bump on the mouth or injury. Protruding teeth may also chip from excessive abrasion against other teeth because they don't have proper support from the upper or lower teeth around them. If you have chipped teeth, see an orthodontist to note if you need to have the teeth aligned and properly protected.
A speech impediment can be caused by a number of problems, including lack of motor skills, shyness, behavioural disorders or just a slow learning process. However, when the tongue protrudes because the upper jaw is sitting too far back from the lower jaw or because the teeth of the lower jaw are out of alignment and push on the tongue, this can also cause a speech impediment. A person may even notice soreness in the jaw line and around the cheeks or chin as the muscles of the tongue and throat work hard to overcome this misalignment. An orthodontist can properly align the teeth and jaw so that the tongue can rest freely and move easily in the mouth, correcting a speech impediment.