Braces or Invisalign are the best options for people who need a little help adjusting their smile into a healthier position. This is true for children, teens, and adults! But orthodontic treatment works through gentle but persistent pressure on your mouth. Gum disease or other issues can leave your mouth less prepared to handle this kind of treatment – especially if you’re experiencing bone loss.
Read on to learn more about braces and bone loss including the connection between the two, what it means for you, and how you can make sure you’re ready for braces!
How Braces and Bone Loss Are Connected
Orthodontic treatment is often seen as primarily concerning the teeth – but it’s actually about whole mouth health. Periodontal health is equally, if not more, important than the health of your teeth. While you may think about your teeth as the primary aspect of dental care, they can’t function or even exist without the support of healthy gums.
Periodontal disease is something that many people face. Approximately half of all American adults suffer from some stage of gum disease. In the early phases, gum disease isn’t a major concern. Over time, however, it grows more severe and one of the major effects is bone loss. The chronic bacterial infection wears away the gums and the bone underneath, leaving your mouth more vulnerable to further infection and decreasing your mouth’s ability to secure your teeth in place.
Because braces, and even Invisalign, put pressure on your teeth, they’re also exerting this pressure on the gums and the bone underneath. Without a healthy foundation (the gums and bone) orthodontic treatment could leave your teeth in worse shape than when you started.
For younger people, these effects are unlikely to have had enough time to grow that severe. It takes many years of advancing gum disease before you begin to suffer enough bone loss that it would prevent braces. However, that means many adults could find themselves in a position where their dentist and orthodontist aren’t confident that they’ll be right for orthodontic treatment.
Braces and Bone Loss – Can I Still Get Braces?
The reality is that every person’s case is unique. If you’ve experienced periodontal disease for several years, your chances of having some bone loss increases. The amount of bone loss, and whether or not it’s enough to make braces too risky for you, is something that only your dentist or orthodontist can determine.
One common recommendation for braces is that it works better the earlier you receive treatment. This is also true for avoiding issues with bone loss! Children or teens, even those with dental health issues, are less likely to have bone structure issues from gum disease than adults. That means it’s always best not to put off treatment if your dentist recommends an evaluation!
Of course, not everyone is able to get treatment in their younger years. If you’ve thought about orthodontic treatment, it’s always worth it to come in for an evaluation!
Preventing Bone Loss for Braces Eligibility
If you’re worried about braces and bone loss then you should know that it’s within your power to fight gum disease and even prevent it completely! There’s no secret to avoid periodontal disease – it’s just about building healthy habits:
Brush and Floss Daily – Bacteria in your mouth are what cause gum disease in the first place. Regular dental care is what helps remove this bacteria, preventing gum disease from occurring.
Consider Mouth Wash – While not a replacement for brushing and flossing, mouth wash, especially those with fluoride in them, can help keep reduce bacteria and keep your mouth healthier!
Stay Up to Date with Dental Visits – Your dentist has a trained eye for spotting the signs of gum disease. Many of these signs can be completely invisible to you, and often, noticeable gum disease symptoms don’t start until it’s begun to advance past the early stages.
Schedule a Free Consultation
Do you have questions about Invisalign or orthodontic treatment? We can answer your questions to keep your teeth and gums healthy – schedule a free consultation! Contact us online or call 440-842-8015
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