Most people assume dental braces only serve a cosmetic purpose. Other than aligning your teeth, they have several practical benefits. They make it easier to chew food, improve speech patterns, and reduce grinding or chipping. Also, straighter teeth allow you to brush and floss better because you can reach all the areas where food can get stuck. Ultimately, your gums and entire oral structure become healthier when your teeth are aligned correctly.
However, getting braces is not as straightforward as it seems. If you have weak, inflamed, or damaged teeth and gums, they can worsen the condition. A thorough dental examination will help determine whether you qualify for treatment.
A periodontist can treat any dental issues you might have before fitting braces. An exam involves investigating the state of your bone structure, teeth, bite, and gums. Factors to consider while evaluating your oral health include your age and underlying medical conditions.
Your teeth and gums need to be healthy before braces. The wires and brackets and even clear aligners can trap food and bacteria and make gum disease much worse. If periodontal disease is present, you will need some specialized treatment before you can wear new braces. These treatments may include:
1) Scaling and Root Planing
These deep cleaning techniques are an essential step in treating gum disease. You’ll require more than one appointment for the best results. Scaling involves scraping off plaque, tartar, and other unwanted debris from your teeth. Afterward, root planing smooths the roots of your teeth. This procedure makes it easier for your gums to reattach to the gumline.
Scaling and root planing are outpatient procedures that only require local anesthesia. Depending on the extent of the problem, your periodontist might treat you with antimicrobial agents and prescribe some oral antibiotics.
2) Pocket Reduction Surgery
Gum tissue and bone should attach firmly to your teeth. Periodontal disease weakens this support, which forms pockets around your teeth. As they grow bigger, bacteria collect inside, resulting in tissue and bone loss. These pockets are too deep to clean using standard hygiene techniques. Surgery can eliminate bacteria and inflammation and encourage the gum tissue to reattach.
3) Tissue Grafts
Your periodontist might suggest gum grafts to protect your teeth from the harmful effects of a receding gum line. As more of your teeth get exposed, you’ll experience increased sensitivity. Gum grafting uses tissue from your palate or synthetic material and adds it to the areas around the exposed teeth. Grafts and other regenerative procedures can improve your gum health and give you the best long-term results from your orthodontic treatment.
Clear aligners are a newer alternative that deliver results without the inconvenience associated with traditional braces. If you are at risk for gum disease, you may still be able to have straighter teeth. Clear aligners can help you straighten your smile and keep gum disease under control.
While braces remain fixed to your teeth for the treatment duration, aligners can be removed to eat and clean your teeth. Since you can brush and floss normally, you can help prevent decay and periodontal issues.
So long as you wear the aligners for at least 22 hours per day, you can achieve noticeable results. As your teeth move into alignment, it will become easier to take care of them. Straight teeth also encourage the gums to tighten around the teeth, leading to better periodontal health.
A professional dental evaluation significantly increases your chances of having successful orthodontic treatment. Your dentist and periodontist will work together to achieve and maintain your optimal oral health. Have you had gum disease treatment before getting your braces? Please share your experience in the comments box below.
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