Vampires have been mesmerizing humankind since their inception. Although they are a figment of humanity's collective imagination, many people are so enamored with the idea of these beings that they go to great lengths to emulate them, including springing for implanted fangs. Before you make an appointment with a cosmetic dentist to swap out your canine teeth with fang implants, you need to fully understand how these teeth will affect your oral and physical health. Here's what you need to know.
You May Damage Oral Tissues
The first thing you must understand is the human mouth was not designed to accommodate elongated eye teeth. Depending on the length of the implants and whether you get them on only your top teeth or on both your top and bottom teeth, you may end up doing some serious damage to the inside of your mouth.
Some problems you may experience include:
- Scraping the inside of your upper and lower lips
- Accidentally biting the inside of your cheeks
- Biting your lips
- Scraping or biting your tongue
- Damage to the gum line where the tips of the fangs rest
The frequency of this happening may lessen as you learn to eat and speak with the fangs. However, you'll have to be vigilant about caring for damaged oral tissues to avoid getting infections. The human mouth is home to an estimated 500 to 650 species of bacteria, any of which can infect damaged oral tissues and cause infection. You'll need to disinfect your mouth on a regular basis, such as rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash, to minimize the risk of infection until you're no longer biting yourself.
Your Natural Teeth May Shift
Another troublesome issue that may occur with fang implants is they may cause your other teeth to shift. Normal healthy teeth are designed to fit perfectly against each other when you close your mouth. Due to their length, however, fangs throw off this balance. The ends of your top fangs may extend so they are resting on your bottom gums, which juts out a little farther than your bottom teeth due to covering the jaw bone.
This may put pressure on the upper teeth and, over time, result in an overbite. Alternatively or in addition, the top fangs may exert pressure on the bottom teeth and force them to move inward, resulting in an underbite.
Both situations are not ideal and can lead to more undesirable changes in your mouth as your other teeth shift around in response. One way to avoid this is to limit the length of your fang implants. Instead of long fangs, get ones about the size of your normal canine teeth and simply have them shaped into points. Another solution is to wear a retainer, which may help prevent your teeth from moving around.
You May Develop TMJ Problems
If the fangs are big enough, they may distort your bite to the point where your jaw becomes misaligned. Jaw misalignment can lead to a host of problems, not the least of which is temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.
The temporomandibular joint is responsible for letting your lower jaw move up and down and side to side. When the teeth do not properly align, it can put undue pressure on the joint and surrounding muscles. This may lead to the joint wearing out faster or being pulled out of its socket. As a result, you may experience jaw pain, difficulty swallowing, muscle spasms, ringing in the ears, and chewing issues, among other symptoms.
Again, moderation is the key to preventing this problem. Avoid getting fang implants that are so long they adversely affect the alignment of your bite. Barring that, there are oral devices that may help correct the misalignment to ensure the jaw closes properly.
For more information about getting permanent fangs or to discuss other cosmetic dentistry topics, contact a cosmetic dentist at a clinic like Family Dental Care near you.