The Impact of Orthodontic Treatment on Gum Disease Prevention and Management

Gum disease can be a real problem when planning orthodontic treatment.

To address conditions such as malocclusion, Portland orthodontists use traditional braces that apply gentle and consistent pressure, gradually moving the teeth into proper alignment. This procedure results in an improved bite and enhanced oral function. Consequently, braces are instrumental in correcting various orthodontic issues, such as crowded or crooked teeth, crossbites, overbites, and underbites.

Recently, orthodontic technology has advanced, increasing the efficiency and sophistication of braces, making them more comfortable. For example, traditional metal braces have evolved to incorporate smaller and sleeker brackets. In addition, these instruments use high-quality materials that make braces more durable and resistant to staining or discoloration. Apart from that, there are other comfortable options, such as clear aligners, which are transparent and removable.

In other words, Portland braces are an effective treatment that addresses dental misalignment and jaw positioning issues. The continuous advancements in orthodontic technology have made braces more sophisticated, with improvements in design, materials, and treatment planning techniques. For this reason, the patient’s experience has improved, making it more comfortable and efficient.

What Is Gum Disease?

Gum disease refers to a condition that affects the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. It can be caused by accumulating a sticky film of bacteria, also known as plaque, on the gum line. Several factors that contribute to the development of gum disease are:

Bacterial growth:

The mouth contains numerous bacteria that contribute to creating plaque. This can be avoided by having proper oral hygiene.

Inadequate oral hygiene:

Plaque is going to accumulate if there is not adequate brushing and flossing of the teeth.

Smoking:

Smoking weakens the immune system and makes it harder for the body to fight infections, such as gum disease.

Diabetes and Hormonal Changes:

Several conditions, such as diabetes and hormonal changes, can make the gums more susceptible to infections and diseases. This is why, during pregnancy and menopause, individuals are at higher risk of developing gum disease.

Genetic predisposition:

Some people may have a genetic predisposition to gum disease, making them more prone to its development.

Stages of Gum Disease

Receding gums can be categorized into five different stages:

1. Gingivitis

Gingivitis alludes to the early stage of gum disease and characterizes by inflammation and bleeding of the gum tissue.

2. Early Gum Recession

Also known as mild gum disease, the gums start to recede, exposing a small portion of the tooth’s root. Also, there may be increased sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures.

3. Moderate Gum Recession

A bigger portion of the tooth root can be exposed as a consequence of a more noticeable gum loss. Sensitivity to touch and temperature changes may increase.

5. Advanced Periodontal Disease

In this stage, the gums recede extensively. The teeth may become very loose, and chewing or biting can be challenging. In addition, there may be damage to the teeth and supporting bone and tissues, causing an increased risk of tooth loss.

Can Braces Cause Gum Recession?

No, braces do not cause gum recession, at least not directly. Although, certain factors related to orthodontic treatment, such as braces, can contribute to gum diseases if there is not proper oral hygiene. Furthermore, dental professionals take preventive measures to minimize the risk of gum recession. They carefully consider the health of the bone and gums and monitor the progress of treatment.

This is why it is important to maintain excellent oral hygiene habits, which include regular and thorough brushing and flossing, as well as following the orthodontist’s instructions, attending regular check-ups, and promptly addressing any concerns that can help prevent or address gum issues during braces treatment.

Tooth Mobility Classification

Tooth mobility refers to the level of damage or periodontal support loss around the tooth. To assess the degree of tooth mobility, orthodontists use a system known as tooth mobility classification, which is based on various factors, such as the severity of gum disease, the degree of mobility, and the amount of bone loss. The classifications are:

Class I:

This level of damage refers to slight mobility but no significant loss of periodontal support.

Class II:

In this stage, there is a moderate loss of periodontal support, which indicates some bone loss around the tooth. Also, there is noticeable horizontal and vertical movement.

Class III:

There is severe mobility, and the tooth has experienced significant periodontal support loss, resulting in considerable bone loss.

Is Gingivitis an Emergency?

While gingivitis is not considered a dental emergency, it does require attention and treatment to prevent its progression into more severe oral health issues. Symptoms of gingivitis might include red and swollen gums and bleeding during brushing or flossing.

For this reason, it is important to understand that each patient’s oral health is different. If you notice any signs of gum disease, it is recommended to consult with a dental professional. They can evaluate your specific condition, provide appropriate treatment, and guide you on proper oral hygiene practices to prevent further complications. In case of an actual dental emergency, it is recommended to know where you can find Emergency Dental Services and walk-in dentists near you.

Is Gingivitis Curable?

The answer is yes! With the correct treatment and proper oral hygiene, gingivitis is a condition that can be reversed. Strict oral hygiene and visiting the dentist are mandatory steps in this case.

Emergency Dental Services and Walk-In Dentists Near You

By setting up an appointment with us, we can assess your current oral condition, provide personalized recommendations, and create a tailored plan to prevent gum diseases. Dr. Leemin, Dr. Handick, and all of the team of Hillsdale Orthodontics will be happy to answer your questions and explain your personalized treatment.

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Picture of Dr. Alix J. Leemin DMD, MS

Dr. Alix J. Leemin DMD, MS

As a nutty overachiever, Dr. Leemin never lost sight of her childhood dreams of becoming a smartypants orthodontist. After graduating from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts with Honors, she embarked on her career in dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated #1 in her class. Feeling just a little too ambitious, she then completed 2.5 years of additional training at OHSU to become an orthodontic specialist.

Stanford University – Bachelor of Arts with Honors
Univ. of Pennsylvania – Doctor of Dental Medicine
Oregon Health & Science Univ. – Master of Science
Oregon Health & Science Univ. – Certificate in Orthodontics

Picture of Dr. Alix J. Leemin DMD, MS

Dr. Alix J. Leemin DMD, MS

As a nutty overachiever, Dr. Leemin never lost sight of her childhood dreams of becoming a smartypants orthodontist. After graduating from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts with Honors, she embarked on her career in dentistry at the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated #1 in her class. Feeling just a little too ambitious, she then completed 2.5 years of additional training at OHSU to become an orthodontic specialist.

Stanford University
Bachelor of Arts with Honors
Univ. of Pennsylvania
Doctor of Dental Medicine
Oregon Health & Science Univ.
Master of Science
Oregon Health & Science Univ.
Certificate in Orthodontics

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