6 Cosmetic Complaints That Could Be Health Problems
Boutique Dentistry for Nashville, Tennessee
Many people think of cosmetic dentistry as an extra, something apart from dentistry that deals with the health and function of your teeth. Nothing could be further from the truth, which is that the health, beauty, and function of your teeth are all closely related, and proper treatment of your teeth takes all three into account. To show you this close relationship, here are six cosmetic complaints you might about your smile have that could be related to the health and/or function of your teeth.
Discolored teeth is probably the most common cosmetic complaint people have about their teeth. It can be caused by simple staining related to dark-colored foods and beverages. Or it could be related to serious health problems in your teeth.
A single discolored tooth could be a sign of an infected or dead tooth. If your tooth experienced trauma, it’s more likely that the tooth pulp has become bruised and possibly died. A dead tooth isn’t necessarily a concern, but it might be at higher risk for future infection. An infected tooth, on the other hand, one where a cavity has pierced the outer shell to reach the living pulp, is a serious health problem that needs to be treated.
A tooth can become discolored because it has developed a large cavity, even if the tooth is not infected.
If several or all of your teeth are growing discolored and that discoloration doesn’t respond to teeth whitening, it’s likely that you’re experiencing erosion of your teeth. As your enamel thins, the darker dentin inside the tooth can show through, making the teeth look darker in color. Thin enamel puts you at greater risk for cavities as well as chipped and broken teeth.
Chipped teeth look unsightly, but they can also be a sign of bite problems such as TMJ that are putting excessive force on your teeth. They could also be related to thinning enamel as we noted above. Both cases are more likely to be true if you have multiple chipped teeth or if a tooth gets chipped again after it’s been repaired.
Crooked teeth are more than just a cosmetic issue. They can be a sign that your teeth are unhealthy. After all, teeth are more likely to drift out of place if you have gum disease that makes them more mobile.
Crooked teeth are also less effective at chewing, so they’re an indicator that your teeth are not functioning properly. Crooked teeth can also be related to bite problems that impact your jaw.
A gummy smile is when your smile shows an imbalance between your gums and teeth. There’s too much gum tissue and too little teeth showing. This can be because your teeth haven’t fully emerged, because your gums are swollen, or possibly because your teeth have been worn down with use. Excessive teeth wear can be related to bite problems or destructive habits like teeth grinding.
Some people have teeth that are naturally smaller than others. But in some people, small teeth may be the result of retained baby teeth or some minor tooth deformities.
It may also be related to health factors listed above, including swollen gums and worn teeth. It’s likely a health problem if you’ve noticed your teeth are visibly shorter than they used to be.
A missing tooth is more than a cosmetic problem. You might think that the main concern is your appearance, but that’s actually the last thing to worry about.
Without a full set of teeth, your remaining teeth have to work harder. They’re now bearing a greater share of the load than they had in the past. And they have less support. Having less support from other teeth can cause your remaining teeth to drift. And it means that your remaining teeth are more likely to develop chips, cracks, or excessive wear.
Tooth replacement, best done with dental implants, can protect your teeth from future damage or loss.
Don’t Ignore Cosmetic Complaints
A healthy smile is an attractive smile. If you’re not happy with the appearance of your smile, there’s good reason to believe you may have health problems. A dentist who is dedicated to comprehensive care will take care of both.
If you are looking for a dentist in Nashville, TN, who can will ensure your teeth are beautiful, healthy, and functional, please call (615) 383-6787 today for an appointment with Dr. Kent E. White at the Center for Advanced Dentistry.