Invisalign and Gum Disease: How You Can Still Use Invisalign Even If You Have Gum Disease

In Australia, gum disease affects around a fifth of the adult population. Gingivitis and its more serious cousin; periodontitis, can mean that any future plans you may have had for dental treatment must be put on hold until your gum disease is treated, and symptoms reduced to manageable levels. 

No matter what age you are, if you currently have gum disease and wish to do something about your smile, namely, straighten your teeth with Invisalign, then you must first see your dentist, or a periodontist, to treat your condition first. 

Even if you have the more serious form of gum disease; the irreversible periodontitis, you can still use Invisalign. Here are the steps your dentist will likely take you through before you can begin Invisalign treatment to straighten your smile.

The Treatment of Gingivitis

As gingivitis is the milder version of gum disease, with a proper focus on the well being of your teeth and gums, the condition can be reversed. 

When treating gingivitis, a periodontist or dentist will usually perform a thorough cleaning of your teeth, referred to as "scaling". This generally involves using an electric toothbrush with gritty toothpaste, and dental instruments referred to as "scalers" to remove plaque and calculus from your teeth. 

With the removal of the bacteria-harboring plaque on your teeth, your gingivitis symptoms should fade, allowing you to safely start your Invisalign treatment. 

The Treatment of Periodontitis 

While perodontitis cannot be reversed, its symptoms can be brought under control, enough for you to safely begin Invisalign treatment. 

As the supporting tissue and bone surrounding your teeth is destroyed by bacteria, pockets form around the teeth, providing a home for the bacteria to live in. In order for a dentist or periodontist to treat this, they need to perform a more thorough scaling to remove the plaque from the pockets around your teeth. 

In more serious cases in which the pockets run too deep for scaling to reach, gum surgery will be required. This is generally a job for a periodontist. A periodontist can treat this condition by cutting back sections of your gum in order to reach the deeper pockets, and thoroughly cleaning the area. 

You may have to wait several weeks whilst cleaning your teeth thoroughly, before you can begin Invisalign treatment in this case. 

The Beginning of Your Invisalign Treatment

Once your gum disease has been cleared, you can now begin your Invisalign treatment to straighten your teeth. However, during treatment; if you suffer from periodontitis, make sure you see your dentist or periodontist at least every 4 months to ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy and strong. 

Invisalign is actually a better choice than braces for people that suffer from gum disease. This is because Invisalign can be removed at any time, allowing you more flexibility when it comes to maintaining the health of your teeth and gums. With braces, food particles can become lodged within or on them, making it difficult to keep bacteria at bay, and therefore leaving you susceptible to a renewed flare up of gum disease. Invisalign comes with no such risk, as you can brush and floss normally after every meal.