Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that destroys the attachment fibers and supporting bones that hold the teeth in the mouth. In its early stage, called gingivitis, the gums become swollen and red due to inflammation, which is the body's natural response to the presence of harmful bacteria. Left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss.
Some symptoms of periodontal disease include:
- Bad breath that won't go away
- Red or swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Painful chewing
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Receding gums or longer appearing teeth
The main cause of periodontal disease is poor oral hygiene habits resulting in the accumulation of bacterial plaque, a sticky, colorless film on teeth.
Plaque is a breeding ground for colonies of bacteria. As the mass of bacteria increases, the amount of harmful waste products increases, causing damage to the surrounding tissues. Frequent, regular, and adequate removal of the plaque prevents the growth of the bacteria colonies, and promotes optimal oral hygiene.
When a patient has periodontal disease, it means that the bones and the periodontal ligament of their jaw are not healthy and, therefore, less likely to respond positively to the osteoblastic and osteoclastic activity during the tooth movement. If the disease process is not halted and improved, the bone degeneration may progress, resulting in the loss of the teeth.
In a healthy mouth, the pressures of the aligners will not cause excessive bone loss or the loss of teeth. Actually, even in a mouth with questionable periodontal health, the aligners can act as a stabilizing effect on the teeth, promoting the threatened teeth to become healthier.
Nonetheless, we recommend you address the periodontal disease before starting treatment.