Dental braces HAVE no long-term effect on periodontal health


Dental braces may not increase the long-term risk of periodontal diseases. This is the result of a review of the available literature on the subject conducted by a Chinese team. Fixed orthodontics, particularly braces, change the bacterial flora around the gums: they increase dental plaque and the risk of deepening periodontal pockets, when they exist between the tooth and gum. Nevertheless, data remains sparse on the real risk of periodontal disease from these treatments. To learn more, researchers selected and analyzed thirteen longitudinal studies published up to 2016, which allowed them to follow the composition of dental plaque over the course of these orthodontic treatments. The results confirm that the microbiota is disrupted in the three months that follow placement, with changes related to specific pathogen strains. Among them, Tannerella forsythia significantly increases, as well as Prevotella intermedia –although only around the incisors. Conversely, the presence of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans and Porphyromonas gingivalis does not change. Above all, longer follow-up (over at least six months) shows that these changes subside with time. The oral microbiota returns to its initial equilibrium after treatment (removal of the braces), from which the study authors conclude that the risk of gingivitis and periodontal disease may increase temporarily during treatment, but that treatment is not associated with these diseases in the long term.


Guo R et al. The microbial changes in subgingival plaques of orthodontic patients: a systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials BMC Oral Health. 2017 Jun 2;17(1):90