Periodontal Disease No Longer a Significant Risk in Adults Seeking Orthodontic Services

Periodontal disease can lead to not only short-term but also long-term health complications, especially in terms of oral hygiene and orthodontic care. While periodontal disease does not preclude you from obtaining orthodontic care, it does need to be well managed before an orthodontist can provide orthodontic treatment to you.

As a general rule, children and adolescents are the primary patients found in the orthodontic office. However, with advances in orthodontic services, many adults are returning to the orthodontist in hopes of achieving a more beautiful smile. Because there are risks associated with orthodontic care in adults, these risks must be well managed; periodontal disease is just one of them, leading to complications of inflammation and destruction of tooth and tooth root, especially if orthodontic treatment is provided.


If you are an adult with teeth that are crooked, or misaligned, you may have experienced a greater misalignment with aging. Because the pressure from tongue and cheeks can play an important role in the change of tooth position, your teeth may drastically change as you age. In addition to anatomical implications, the general metabolic composition of your body may also play a role as the chemical composition of saliva and periodontal tissue changes with age. When these factors are combined, the position of your teeth will change with age.

If you, at one time, consulted an orthodontist seeking orthodontic care for misaligned teeth, and that care was denied due to your history of periodontitis, you may want to seek a second opinion. In more recent years, orthodontists have become more and more open to the concept of providing orthodontic care to patients with prior periodontal disease, or even to those with chronic periodontitis. Be prepared, however, because, on average, the orthodontic treatment in adults is far lengthier than that of adolescents. The primary basis for this increase of time is due to the tooth’s resistance to move and re-align as you age.

When discussing orthodontic treatment as an adult patient, you will want to discuss the issues associated with periodontal disease and how best your orthodontist can manage the movement of your teeth in the most efficient manner without creating an atmosphere that may lead to greater tooth root compromise. While you may not be so inclined to spend two to four years in orthodontic care, this may be necessary so as to slow the orthodontic process to a pace that allows for minimal damage and the lease amount of exacerbation to the periodontal tissue.

Where periodontal disease once was a risk factor associated with orthodontic care, many orthodontists are, today, considering treatment for these at-risk patients. If you are in need of orthodontic treatment as an adult, and have been refused that treatment by orthodontists due to your periodontitis risks, seek out a second opinion as it may just be the slowing of the process that is required to achieve optimal results with minimal risks.