Braces and the Increased Risk of Gum Disease

By Chetan Patil, DDS PhD on January 03, 2019

Close up photo of woman wearing traditional metal bracesNo matter your age, orthodontic treatment can improve the health, function, and aesthetics of your smile. Though braces offer many benefits, there are a few drawbacks during the treatment process. For example, patients who wear braces are more susceptible to gingivitis and periodontal disease.

Here, our Englewood, NJ dental team discusses braces and the increased risk of gum disease. We offer periodontal care services to help prevent and manage this condition while you straighten your teeth.

What Causes Gum Disease?

Gum disease develops when plaque accumulates on the teeth. Harmful bacteria feed off of the plaque deposits, causing an infection that damages the hard and soft tissues in the mouth.

Why Do Braces Increase the Risk for Gum Disease?

Braces consist of metal bands, wires, and brackets that are bonded to the teeth. With so many components, it can be challenging to clean hard-to-reach areas.

As a result, plaque accumulates along the gum line and around the brackets, increasing the risk for gum disease.

How to Reduce the Risk of Gum Disease While Wearing Braces

Those who are undergoing orthodontic treatment may be more prone to gum disease. However, there are several ways to minimize this risk.

First, it is important to attend every routine dental visit during the course of your treatment. By doing so, your dentist can assess your progress and your hygienist can remove harmful disease-causing plaque and bacteria.

If you have a genetic predisposition to gum disease, we may recommend more frequent cleanings during orthodontic treatment. This can help keep oral bacteria at a healthy level.

For example, if you normally have cleanings every six months, we may recommend scheduling your visits every three to four months instead.

In addition to regular dental visits, it is also important to keep your teeth and gums healthy at home. Patients should brush at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a non-abrasive fluoride paste.

Flossing should be done at least once every day. This can be challenging for those wearing braces, but it is essential for healthy teeth and gums. Your dentist or hygienist can help you choose specific dental tools, such as floss threaders, dental picks, and interproximal brushes, to clean around your brackets effectively.

It is also a good idea to use an antibacterial mouthwash twice a day. This will keep your breath fresh and reduce harmful plaque and microbes.

Periodontal Care at Our Practice

As gum specialists, we offer a wide range of periodontal treatments at our practice. From routine cleanings to gum surgery to gingival grafts, we help our patients achieve and maintain optimal oral health.

Patients who experience gingivitis or gum disease while wearing braces may require scaling and root planing, a non-surgical deep cleaning that removes bacteria along the gum line and around the roots of the teeth.

In some cases, excess, swollen gum tissue may need to be removed. In such instances, a gingivectomy may be recommended.

Contact Periodontal Associates Today

No matter what your oral health needs, we can help you achieve the smile you desire. If you are currently wearing braces and you are experiencing red, swollen, or tender gums, contact us to set up a consultation. You can reach us online or by calling (201) 567-7766.

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Dr. Patil and his staff could not be more professional. They take the time to talk to you and explain what will be done. I am constantly surprised at how little pain is associated with the procedures they perform. Jack T.

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