Achieving your smile goals is no more a dream with the help of braces. These wired devices have been a part of the dental world for years to correct misaligned teeth. However, one common issue many people face is swollen gums around the wires of these braces. In this blog, we will explore why this happens and what you can do about it.
What Causes Swollen Gums?
With braces, your teeth start gradually shifting into their proper (new) positions; at that time, you may experience certain varying levels of inflammation around your gums.
This is due to the steady pressure applied by braces to facilitate this movement and realignment. For first-timers, it is completely normal to experience some gum swelling and discomfort with braces.
However, this may happen when your braces are adjusted as well. Brushing and flossing regularly can help alleviate the discomfort caused by swollen gums.
Here are two common causes:
Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease and contributes to swollen and tender gums. Poor oral hygiene and crooked teeth that are difficult to clean, accentuate the risk of developing gingivitis.
As braces move your teeth in the right direction, small spaces open up temporarily. Unfortunately, food and plaque may get trapped in those spaces, leading to bacterial growth and consequential inflammation.
- Teeth Movement
Inflammation and swollen gums are quite common with braces. Because, let’s face it, achieving proper teeth alignment is no easy task.
Braces apply continuous pressure to shift your teeth. This pressure brings about changes in your gums and jawbone, leading to swelling. Other than that, frequent adjustments to your braces can cause ongoing gum pain and swelling.
Treating Swollen Gums with Braces
The good news is that there are multiple remedies to try for easily reducing gum swelling post braces placement or tightening. In case the change in the size of your gum tissue is due to gingivitis, it is advisable to visit your dentist for deep cleaning and maintain regular dental check-ups and thorough oral care.
Here are some tips to help alleviate gum swelling:
- Avoid sticky or hard foods: Eating such foods can aggravate the condition and further irritate your gums when they are swollen and tender. Plus, they are more likely to get stuck between your teeth during eating.
- Over-the-counter medications: Anti-inflammatory medications that include Ibuprofen provide adequate relief from swelling and tenderness of the gums. Make sure to follow the recommended dosing instructions.
- Warm salt rinse: Gently rinsing your mouth with this holy grail can soothe swollen gums. Swish the solution around your mouth for at least 30 seconds, and then spit it out. You can repeat this process several times a day.
- Flossing after meals: Regular flossing is essential for reducing gum inflammation. Trapped food and plaque only further cause irritation.