Swollen gums with braces is a very common occurrence, even if you have good oral hygiene. Fortunately, there are many actions you can take to prevent and treat gingivitis with braces.
Since brushing and flossing with braces adds extra difficulty, it can be challenging to avoid puffy gums with braces. But even though oral hygiene with braces is more challenging, it’s necessary to take action so that gingivitis doesn’t become a bigger problem.
Are you a teen or adult with braces wondering:
- How to help inflamed gums with braces?
- How to reduce gum swelling with braces?
- How to get rid of inflamed gums with braces fast?
- How to keep your gums from swelling with braces?
If you want to know “Why are my gums swollen with braces?” and what to do about it, we’re glad you’re here.
In this article, we’re talking about swollen gums with braces and how to cure them. We’ll share some home remedies for swollen gums with braces and more professional treatments for dealing with inflamed gums.
Keep reading to learn about braces, swollen gums, and treatments.
What Causes Swollen Gums With Braces?
Swollen gums are a sensitive subject—literally! When your gums become irritated and puffy, there can be increased pain and sensitivity until it’s dealt with.
But before treating puffy gums with braces, it’s essential to answer the question, “Why are my gums swollen with braces?”
The most common cause for gingivitis with braces is poor oral hygiene. A second, rarer cause is an allergic reaction to the metal brackets or wire.
Poor Oral Hygiene and Swollen Gums
Eating and drinking cause plaque and bacteria to form on your teeth. If plaque and bacteria form close to your gums and you don’t remove them through regular brushing and flossing, they can lead to inflamed gums (gingivitis).
Swollen gums from plaque and bacteria can occur without braces on your teeth. However, having braces can significantly increase your risk of developing gum disease.
The metal brackets and wire orthodontists place on your teeth during a braces treatment can make it more difficult to brush and floss effectively. They hinder access to your gumline when brushing, and the wire requires a specialized flossing technique. If you aren’t removing the plaque and bacteria from your gums, gingivitis can occur more easily.
Good oral hygiene with braces often requires extra time and attention to make sure you clean near your gums and floss properly. The extra time and attention will allow you to clear your gums of bacteria and prevent gingivitis.
An Allergic Reaction to the Metal
Having an allergic reaction to the metal used to make the brackets or the wire is a rarer cause of swollen gums with braces.
Apart from puffy gums, other symptoms common to an allergic reaction to braces may include:
- A burning sensation in your mouth
- Swollen lips
- A rash around your mouth
If you have a nickel allergy or find out that you’re allergic to nickel in braces, you can still move forward with your treatment. Your orthodontist will simply use nickel-free brackets, or ceramic/clear brackets and nickel-free wire.
Again, a reaction to the metal is infrequent, and it’s more common to get puffy gums with braces due to poor oral hygiene.
But regardless of the cause of swollen gums, it’s always best to contact your orthodontist as soon as you recognize any level of gum swelling. They can help you understand the cause of your swollen gums with braces and how to cure it.
How to Reduce Gum Swelling With Braces?
The early stages of gum swelling and gingivitis are reversible and treatable, so taking action quickly is a great first step in getting rid of swollen gums.
There are some home remedies for swollen gums with braces, like rinsing your mouth with warm salt water or taking anti-inflammatory medications. However, these two methods won’t get to the root issue.
If you have puffy gums and genuinely want to know how to make your gums less swollen with braces, here are the top two ways of treating inflamed gums.
1. Practicing Good Oral Hygiene
You may have guessed this one after our earlier discussion on poor oral hygiene, but one of the best ways to combat swollen gums and braces is to maintain good oral hygiene.
It’s important to brush at least twice a day. But if you can brush after every meal, that can further help decrease your risk of gingivitis.
When you brush, you’ll want to take extra time to brush above and below the brackets and wire. Use a small, soft toothbrush and pay special attention to your gum line.
You can also use a proxy brush, a small brush that fits in between the brackets and wire to clean that area more effectively.
Flossing Every Day
Daily flossing is also vital to maintaining gum health with braces. But it also takes a little extra time, as you need to work around the wire.
Two of the best flossing options include using a:
- Floss threader
- Platypus flosser
In addition to using one of those two options, a WaterPik can also be a helpful tool to clean out your gums.
You can also use an antibacterial mouthwash to supplement your regular brushing and flossing.
2. Scheduling a Dental Visit
It’s also a good idea to schedule an appointment with your dentist when you notice you have swollen gums.
If you see your dentist quickly, they may give your teeth (and gums!) a good cleaning and provide you with some tips on how to keep your gums from swelling with braces. They might suggest that you brush, floss, or schedule dental cleanings more frequently.
However, waiting too long to see your dentist could require more serious dental procedures and cleanings. It’s important to deal with swollen gums as soon as they become apparent.
In fact, it’s important to continue scheduling and seeing your dentist every 6 months, regardless of any gum issues or not. Regular visits to the dentist can help you maintain good oral health and keep your gums from getting swollen.
Why Do You Need to Treat Gingivitis With Braces?
Treating gingivitis with braces is necessary to prevent more serious long-term oral issues. Leaving swollen gums untreated can lead to more severe dental problems than simply having red, sensitive gums.
In its early stages, swollen gums (often called gingivitis) is reversible and treatable. Starting a more rigorous oral routine and scheduling a cleaning with your dentist can help get your puffy gums under control.
But untreated gingivitis can lead to gingival hyperplasia or periodontitis. These two gum conditions require more complex treatments and, in some cases, aren’t easily reversible (or reversible at all).
Gingival hyperplasia is a dental term for gum overgrowth and is a step above simple gum inflammation. Like gingivitis, poor oral hygiene allowing plaque and bacteria to grow near the gums causes gingival hyperplasia.
However, instead of simply getting red, puffy, and sensitive gums, gingival hyperplasia causes gums to grow abnormally large.
Sometimes, you can treat gingival hyperplasia with good oral hygiene. Other times, more severe gingival hyperplasia may require treatment or surgery from a periodontist.
In minor cases of periodontitis, your dentist will perform scaling and root planing to clean out your gum tissue. This procedure will help create space for your gum tissue to reattach to your tooth.
More severe cases of periodontitis may require a surgical procedure, like a bone graft, to repair the bone. If the bone or tooth is almost destroyed, it may result in tooth extraction.
Ultimately, keeping your gums clean and healthy through good oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings is the best way to prevent more serious gum issues from arising.
Professional Advice on Swollen Gums and Braces in Richmond, VA
Are you dealing with swollen gums with braces?
Do you know what causes puffy gums with braces?
Do you know how to reduce gum swelling with braces?
It’s relatively common to experience gingivitis with braces, especially if you don’t have a good oral hygiene routine. Some people may have an allergic reaction to metal brackets or wire, but poor oral hygiene is the leading cause of swollen gums and braces.
Want to know how to get rid of puffy gums after braces are put on your teeth? The two best ways to treat and prevent swollen gums are:
- Practice good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly
- Schedule and attend dental cleanings
And it’s essential to put these two actions into practice, as swollen gums can lead to more severe gum issues, like gingival hyperplasia and periodontitis.
At Bates Orthodontics, we do everything we can to make your braces treatment smooth and effective. From your initial consultation until the day your braces come off, you’ll receive expert advice and professional treatment every step of the way. And if you ever encounter an issue, like a loose bracket or swollen gums, we’ll make sure you get the help you need to keep your treatment on track.
Schedule your free consultation today to see how braces can provide you with a straighter smile.