Many people have teeth that are too close together, which is also known as dental crowding. For some people, dental crowding does not prevent them from adequately brushing their teeth and flossing in between their teeth.  For others whose teeth overlap, however, oral care can be a challenge. Here are some oral health risks from overlapping teeth that family dentists can address to enhance their patients' dental and gum health.  

Excessive Calculus Formation

Overlapping teeth can prevent the proper placement of dental floss when the spaces between the teeth are too tight. Despite trying to wiggle or ease a piece of dental floss between the spaces of overlapping teeth, many people will still be unable to do so. Because of this, plaque cannot be effectively removed, and consequently, it will harden into calculus. When this happens, you may be at high risk for cavities and gum disease.

Excessive calculus formation can promote dental infections and trigger inflammation of the gum tissue. If people with overlapping teeth are unable to visit their family dentists for professional teeth cleanings and calculus removal, they may develop periodontal disease. 

Toothaches And Jaw Pain

Overlapping teeth not only raise the risks for dental decay and periodontal disease, but they can also cause significant tooth and jaw pain. When overlapping and overcrowding occur, it can put pressure on the jawbone, nerves, and gum tissue. This can lead to chewing problems and may even raise the risk of choking in some people when chewing becomes too painful for them. As a result, they may swallow large pieces of food that can get lodged in the throat.

If you develop tooth or jaw pain as a result of dental overcrowding, take over-the-counter pain medications, avoid chewing hard foods, and make an appointment with your family dentist. When painful chewing and jaw pain persists as a result of overlapping teeth, family dentists can refer their patients to orthodontists who can evaluate the individuals to determine if they might be candidates for braces. Orthodontic treatment slowly repositions the teeth back into their normal spaces which can greatly relieve dental pain and chewing problems.

If your teeth are crowded, or if they overlap, make an appointment with your family dentist. When overlapping teeth are corrected either with orthodontic treatment or other dental options, you may be less likely to experience toothaches, jaw pain, painful chewing, bite problems, dental decay, and gum disease. 

Contact a local family dentist to learn more.