The Prevention of Gum Disease During Orthodontic Treatment
Any orthodontic treatment is an investment that carries several lifelong benefits. However, wearing braces may simultaneously prevent and promote the development of gum disease.
In the UK, gum disease affects three out of four adults aged over 35. In its early stage, the condition can be painless and sometimes unnoticeable. As it advances, the patient starts to experience swollen, red gums that bleed during brushing. Left untreated, the gums may recede and move away from the tooth, leading to the formation of pus in the gums and teeth.
Contrary to common belief, gum disease – not tooth decay – is the biggest cause of tooth loss.
One way to thwart its progress is to fix any existing irregularities and misalignments in the teeth, often through orthodontic treatment.
Ironically, wearing braces can also increase your risk of developing gum disease.
Why Braces Can Trigger Gum Disease
For years, scientists have tried to identify what causes gum disease. Thanks to their efforts, we know today that bacteria in dental plaque are the biggest culprit.
So, how does wearing braces heighten the risk of acquiring gum disease? During an orthodontic treatment, the braces tend to trap food participles and removing wedged debris requires more effort than the usual brushing.
The bacteria associated with this debris and the plaque that subsequently forms can easily promote gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease.
For this reason, the dentist ensures that the patient has generally good health when pursuing orthodontic treatment. With healthy teeth and gums, it simplifies the treatment process and makes it easier to achieve results.
On the Upside: Braces Promote Oral Health
The chances of developing gum disease dramatically decrease with straight, properly aligned teeth. This is because straight teeth allow the gum to fit around them more snugly, leaving no room or pockets where bacteria can build up and wreak havoc. With straight teeth, it is easier to reach in between the gaps and rinse away stuck food particles.
Everything Comes Down to Hygiene
The best way to prevent the onset of gum disease is to follow a strict oral hygiene regime and other practices prescribed by your dentist.
We recommend brushing the teeth and gum line using gentle circular strokes twice daily. Use orthodontic or waxed floss and mouthwash once a day, then check for any food particles that may have been left behind.
Should You Still Seek Orthodontic Treatment?
Considering the advantages and disadvantages of orthodontic treatment, the choice is still clear. In the long term, straight and well-aligned teeth save you from a host of dental problems, including gum disease, tooth decay and TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders.
A set of aligned teeth affords you the luxury of putting only a little extra effort into your dental routine. It’s a priceless outcome, the benefits of which extend beyond the mouth and into physical, mental and financial aspects.
At Fresh Dental, we offer a range of innovative orthodontic treatments in London, including Invisalign, Inman Aligner and ClearSmile Braces.
To learn more about the benefits of these systems, feel free to get in touch with our team. We are eager to address any concerns and help you achieve a healthier, more beautiful smile.