Orthodontics & Systemic Health

In recent studies, medical researchers have drawn a positive correlation between oral systemic health and overall health. But is there any correlation between orthodontic treatment and overall heath?

Curious… we decided to do a little research ourselves so we could share with you our findings. So in honor of World Oral Health Day, March 20 here’s what we’ve learned regarding the relationship between orthodontic treatment and overall health.

In one study, The Impact of Malocclusion/Orthodontic Treatment Need on the Quality of Life - A Systematic Review, researchers analyzed existing evidence between orthodontic treatment and health-related quality of life. While they did conclude there is only a “modest association,” they did suggest that future studies should employ standardized assessment methods so outcomes will be more consistent for further analysis.

In the meantime, there is evidence linking Phase I orthodontic treatment with a palatal expander or Herbst Class II corrector to an improved airway development in children. Additionally, there have been significant findings which indicate some patients which undergo treatment for conditions of the jaw and face related to structure, growth, sleep apnea and joint disorders receive tremendous benefit to their health-related quality of life. However, many of these orthodontic cases are associated with skeletal problems that may not be treated with braces alone.

So, what does all this mean? While crooked or misalignment of teeth alone are not a disease or life-threatening condition, the physical, social and psychological consequences of it and its influence on your quality of life can have an impact on your overall health. A beautiful Forever Smile does make you more confident, which means you smile more and can lead to more positive daily interactions. While additional studies with an emphasis on the impact of orthodontic treatment will help us understand more about the positive impact braces can make on your long-term health, evidence does suggest patients do perceive a positive self-image, a sense of well-being and some overall health benefit.