Do you wear braces? They help enhance your smile by moving your teeth into a new position. In addition, braces are used to treat conditions like crooked teeth and jaw misalignment. However, wearing these orthodontic appliances can bring a certain amount of discomfort. When your braces are new, they can bring some pain and swelling. But swollen gums with braces might also indicate underlying issues. We’ll discuss why the swelling occurs in this blog.
Why are My Gums Swollen With Braces?
Braces can make your gums feel tender for a lot of reasons. From poor oral hygiene to underlying health conditions like gum disease, many factors can lead to swollen gums with braces. These include:
1. Realignment of Teeth
Braces apply constant pressure on your teeth, causing changes in your jaw bone and gums. The steady pressure can lead to swollen or painful gums as your teeth move to a new position. Furthermore, you might experience more discomfort if you recently got braces since adjustment takes time. Also, you need to adjust braces at least once a month, which can be the reason for gum discomfort.
Bracing might make brushing or flossing a challenging task, but that’s no reason to neglect your dental hygiene. Regularly scrubbing and flossing your teeth can reduce gum soreness.
The teeth movement can open tiny spaces between your teeth. These gaps accumulate food particles and bacteria, causing inflammation. Improper bushing due to braces can affect your gums, as it leads to plaque build-up. Consequently, you might notice swollen gums and gingivitis.
Gingivitis not only affects gums, but it can cause irreversible damage to the bone tissue of your teeth. Hence, it is vital that you pay extra attention to your oral hygiene when you have braces.
Swollen gums due to plaque build-up or gingivitis require immediate treatment and care. Therefore, seeing your dentist regularly might help if you have gingivitis with braces.
3. Gingival Hyperplasia
Gingival hyperplasia can occur as a result of plaque build-up and gum irritation. Also known as hypertrophy or gingival hyperplasia, this condition results from an overgrowth of the gum tissue. If you notice gingival overgrowth, employing proper oral hygiene habits can reduce its symptoms. Usually, gingival hyperplasia will disappear within 6 to 8 weeks after removing braces, given that you maintain good oral hygiene.
Sometimes, the overgrown gum tissue needs to be surgically removed if it becomes fibrotic.
What to Do For Swollen Gums With Braces
Regular dental examinations and cleanings will keep the swollen gums at bay if you maintain oral care. Consult your dentist right away when your gums look overgrown. Other than this, severe gingival hyperplasia might require surgical removal by an orthodontist.
For less severe puffy gums, you can try home remedies. However, consult your dentist before trying anything new. Some ways to reduce swollen gums with braces are:
- Saltwater rinses
- OTC anti-inflammatory medication
- Avoiding chewy or hard foods when gums become tender
- Flossing between teeth with a Waterpik or unwaxed floss
What Should I Do?
Swollen gums with braces can indicate multiple factors. First, you need to pay special attention to your dental hygiene. If any problems occur, visit a reputable dental office like Smile1 Dental. Dial (713) 936-4062 to give us a ring.