Dr. Stephen Harrel is a professor at Baylor College of Dentistry and is a diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology. As a periodontist, he has views related to gum and bone health and how they relate to the position of teeth. Areas of interest include adequate oral hygiene, occlusal (bite) trauma, gum recession, abfractions (tooth notches), and temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD).
It seems obvious, but teeth that are in better alignment are easier to keep clean. This goes for both your daily home care and the ability of the dental professional to clean your teeth. This can carry over to decay problems in between crooked teeth that are harder to clean. Bite trauma is related to teeth hitting at odd angles and creating abnormal wear and tooth mobility. This can lead to a breakdown in the gum and bone support for the tooth as well as potential trauma to the jaw joint and muscles (TMD). Gum recession can be a result of both poor tooth position and bite trauma. The notches in teeth at the gum line (abfractions) are usually multifactorial with misaligned teeth being one of those factors.
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