Here’s a statistic to start your day: according to the CDC, roughly 50% of the American adult population has some form of gum disease. So, suffice it to say, we see a lot of patients with gum disease here at Shirck Orthodontics. Many of them are surprised when we tell them that they need to have the condition treated before they can start braces or Invisalign. Getting rid of gum disease is essential ahead of any orthodontic treatment, and today, your orthodontist in Westerville explains why.
Gum Disease Basics
In order to understand why you shouldn’t get orthodontics with gum disease, it helps to understand a few simple things about it first.
Gum disease is a bacterial infection that can develop along and below the gum line due to a buildup of plaque and tartar (also called calculus) that irritates, inflames, and eventually breaks down the nearby tissues. This can lead to sensitive, bleeding gums, and over time, it will eventually weaken the bone that supports the teeth, causing them to become loose and even fall out. Right now, gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss in the world, and it has also been shown to have a strong connection with other ailments such as heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Gum Disease & Orthodontics
The basic method that every orthodontic treatment uses, whether it’s regular braces or Invisalign, is that the appliance places slight pressure on the teeth, and this gently moves them into their new positions. For this to happen, the underlying bone that keeps the teeth in place has to slowly but surely remodel itself.
For people with gum disease, this bone is compromised, meaning the teeth may not shift as needed, and even if they do, they might not be stable enough to remain in their new orientation. Plus, gum disease only becomes worse over time, so ignoring it to undergo orthodontic care may allow it to do some serious damage and compromise someone’s oral and overall health. Also, as you can imagine, gum disease can make orthodontic care really, really uncomfortable.
Making Gum Disease Disappear
Fortunately, there are many proven ways to treat gum disease and get someone’s oral health back on track so they can start orthodontics. It all starts with better oral hygiene at home, which can prevent the accumulation of plaque that is often the root cause of the infection. Dentists can also provide a range of treatments, from special cleanings to antibacterial mouthwashes, that can stop an ongoing infection and lower the chances of it coming back.
Here at Shirck Orthodontics, our patients’ health is always our top priority, so if we see someone with gum disease, we always help them get the treatment they need before starting their orthodontic journey. This guarantees that they will get not just a beautiful, but a healthy and lasting smile as well.
About the Author
Dr. Jeffrey Shirck is an award-winning orthodontist in Westerville who has served patients of all ages in the Columbus area for years. He has been named as one of Columbus’ Top Orthodontists every year since 2011 and is also an Elite Invisalign Provider. If you’re interested in getting orthodontic treatment, we invite you to schedule a FREE consultation at Shirck Orthodontics. During this appointment, we can determine if you might require treatment for gum disease, and if so, we can direct you to get the help you need without delay.