Braces are an investment in your future smile and overall dental health, working to slowly straighten your teeth and align your bite. But the fact is braces make it harder to brush and floss effectively, leading to a build-up of plaque that can cause puffy and inflamed gums.
Here’s everything you need to know about swollen gums and braces treatment.
In most cases, yes. It’s very common for your gums to be puffy and sore immediately after having your braces removed. This is because it is more challenging to keep your teeth super clean with braces on your teeth and near your gums.
The primary main reason why braces cause gums to swell is that braces make it much more difficult to maintain good oral hygiene. It’s difficult for your toothbrush and floss to remove plaque and food particles from the tiny crevices in and around your gum tissue. The plaque build-up can trigger your body’s inflammatory response – leading to gum inflammation (i.e. gingivitis) and if left unchecked, also more serious gum disease (i.e. periodontitis).
Take heart – help is at hand!
Swollen gums getting you down? Here are some simple steps to help prevent or treat puffy gums with braces.
- Brush three times a day with a soft-bristled or electric toothbrush.
- Clean between your teeth at least once a day with floss, a small interdental brush.
- Book in for regular professional teeth cleaning with your general dentist. More regular cleaning (e.g. every 3-6 months may be highly beneficial).
It’s not normal for your gums to grow close to your braces, but in rare cases it can happen. Sometimes, if braces cause a significant amount of bacteria build-up, swelling and irritation around the gum line, it can cause the gums to partially overgrow the teeth. This condition is known as gingival enlargement or gingival hyperplasia
The best way to treat gingival hyperplasia is through excellent oral hygiene. So hit your brushing and flossing routine extra hard. In many cases, this condition will resolve of its own accord after having your braces removed. If it doesn’t, you may need minor surgery to remove the overgrown gum tissue. But this is extremely rare. As always, it’s best to consult your specialist orthodontist if you’re concerned about gum problems with braces.
Use our handy Finder tool to find a specialist orthodontist near you.