According the American Dental Association (ADA), over half of all adults in the United States have some form of periodontal disease (periodontitis) — an infection of the gums that surround the teeth. People with severe periodontitis can experience significant bone loss, and may have teeth that eventually fall out. Orthodontics involves shifting teeth to create a straighter appearance. This type of movement may have an adverse affect on teeth that have already be weakened by gum disease.
For an adult who is considering orthodontic treatment, it is important to know if you have any form of periodontal disease, and if braces will hinder treatment. If in your first consultation with an orthodontist he or she finds that you have gum disease, you will most likely be referred to a periodontist — a dentist who specializes in the gums — before beginning any treatment. If your periodontist considers you to have a mild case of the disease and believes that it can controlled easily, he or she will okay orthodontic treatment. In certain cases getting your teeth straightened may be helpful to your periodontist, who will have an easier time accessing and cleaning all of your teeth.
It is important to keep visiting your periodontist for the duration of your orthodontic treatment. For the first few months, it may be necessary to go frequently so that he or she can make sure that the disease does not reoccur. As your condition stabilizes you will be able to curtail these visits.
If you are interested in learning if you are a good fit for adult braces, you should first visit a New York City Orthodontist. Dr. Tanya Vaysman and the staff at Upper Eastside Orthodontists are happy to answer any questions that you may have.