Braces are among the best methods to adjust and align your teeth gradually. Dental braces are used to treat conditions like jaw misalignment or crooked teeth. Also, along with time braces have evolved as well and crafted in a way to prevent cavities and tooth decay.
Even so, along with the benefits of aligned and shaped teeth, there is one issue that commonly persists among most dental braces users; swollen gums. It mostly happens due to new braces or when it is adjusted again.
Take a look at the causes, treatment options, and preventive measures to tackle swollen gums caused due to braces.
- Underlying conditions like obesity or diabetes are among the most common factors leading to swollen gums.
- Another reason that immediately makes way for swollen gums is poor oral hygiene.
- Dental plaque and tiny bits of food particles can easily stick to your braces. This can cause swollen gums and gingivitis.
- Although it is invisible to the human eye, your teeth are moving and aligning for it to reshape. This is caused due to the steady pressure of the braces. As a reaction to this, gums tend to get swollen and inflamed.
- Due to overgrown gum tissue, the braces could cause inflamed or swollen gums. This condition is called gingival hyperplasia or gingival enlargement.
Treatment & Remedies
- First things first, visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleaning. This would also ensure at-home maintenance and oral hygiene.
- Look out for the signs of swollen gums like tender gums, red gums, gums that easily bleed while flossing or brushing.
- Severe gingival hyperplasia that shows no improvement through at-home remedies, need to be consulted and treated by an orthodontist.
- Warm salt water rinses several times a day can soothe swollen gums.
- Always use unwaxed floss to reduce the effect of inflamed gums.
- Anti-inflammatory medication that is either prescribed by your dentist or recommended by a pharmaceutical physician can be taken as a pain reliever.
Prevention is better than cure and this stands correct in terms of swollen gums. Gum swelling is common after wearing braces and there are ways to keep your gums healthy and to avoid swelling altogether. Preventive measures also help reduce the risks of developing gum diseases like gingivitis or periodontists.
- It is challenging to clean your teeth with braces on. Therefore, swollen gums or not, oral hygiene should be a priority. Plaque buildup also leads to tender gums so make sure to keep your teeth clean.
- Use a toothbrush with soft bristles or an electric toothbrush with a soft brush head.
- Avoid hard-to-chew, sugary, chewy foods that stick to your teeth or tough to break. Foods like corn on the cob, popcorn, steak, hard candy, etc. should be avoided.
- Flossing is very important as it deep cleans under the gum line and between teeth. For best results, use an orthodontic floss threader.
- Rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouth wash after brushing.
When to consult a dentist
It is normal to have tender and swollen gums for up to a week after you have got your braces fixed. There are slight pain and discomfort for three to four days after you have got your braces tightened.
Pain, bleeding, or swelling that persists post one week should be shown to an orthodontist.
All in all, do not worry as it is a common occurrence. Follow the preventive measures, remedies, and treatments mentioned above and you are sorted. Ensure good oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist to avoid gum and other dental diseases.