Cartoon image of a woman at the orthodontist getting braces on her teeth, which can cause soreness

Why Do I Have Swollen Gums with Braces?

October 30, 2021 8:05 pm
Published by

Orthodontic treatment is often one of the best things you can do for the appearance and health of your smile! Braces, one such orthodontic treatment, are brackets attached to the front of your teeth with an archwire threaded through, kept tight with elastics. For your teeth to continue moving where we want them, the wire and elastics are routinely replaced. These adjustments are necessary for your braces to exert enough force on your teeth in the right directions.

You’ll likely experience some mild discomfort after you first get your braces on and each time you get them adjusted. But prolonged, abnormal changes in your teeth and gums is not normal during your braces treatment. Here’s an overview of what is normal and when to be concerned.

Temporary Soreness

When you first get your braces and after they are adjusted, you might experience some soreness and tenderness in your teeth, gums, and jaw as your mouth gets used to the increase in pressure. This should subside within a few days. You may also experience occasional discomfort in your cheeks and lips if they scrape against your brackets and wire.

To find relief from braces pain, try drinking more water, eating soft foods, massaging your gums with a clean finger or toothbrush, icing your cheeks in 10-20 minute increments, and covering irritating areas of your braces with dental wax.

A severe toothache can indicate something more serious, such as a broken tooth or tooth infection. Contact an emergency dentist for urgent treatment!

Swollen Gums

If your gums are swollen when you have braces, you likely have early-stage gum disease and need to improve your oral hygiene and diet. When bacteria collects along and under the gumline, the gums will become irritated and inflamed. A sugary diet feeds this harmful bacteria. Gum disease can result in bad breath, tooth decay, and tooth loss.

Brushing and flossing in the morning, after you eat, and before bed will improve the health of your gums. We understand that brushing and flossing around your brackets and wires can be downright frustrating! But it’s critical to keep your teeth and gums clean throughout your treatment. Oral hygiene can feel less burdensome with special tools, like an electric toothbrush, water flosser, floss threaders, and interdental brushes. You can also regularly rinse your mouth with an alcohol-free anti-gingivitis mouthwash and/or a mixture of table salt and warm water.

It is important to notify your orthodontist and dentist if your swollen gums do not resolve.

Affordable Orthodontics in McKinney, TX

OrthodonTEX offers a wide range of orthodontic treatment options for patients of all ages. We also offer many affordable payment options. If you are interested in future orthodontic treatment or have questions about your current treatment, contact us today!

Contact us

Image from Authority Dental under CC 2.0