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How Are Braces Affecting My Gums?

January 6, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — Nancy @ 11:59 pm
Woman smiling with dentures

Not all of us developed the perfectly aligned smile that we hoped for, but that’s okay. Today, you can get orthodontic treatment to help you achieve those straight pearly whites you’ve been dreaming of. However, many patients who have braces have been known to experience something that they haven’t dealt with before: gum inflammation. Read on to learn why this happens and what you can do to prevent it.

What Causes Gum Inflammation with Braces?

There are a few reasons why your gums may feel tender when you’re going through orthodontic treatment. Here are some of the most common:

  • Poor Dental Hygiene: When you have braces, it can be more difficult to keep your smile as clean as you’re used to because food and plaque stick much easier to them. Bacteria grows in these areas and can induce gum inflammation.
  • Movement: Braces cause your teeth to slowly move to new locations. This causes a small amount of inflammation to develop around your teeth.
  • Medical Conditions: If you have underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes or obesity, you may be more prone to having gum inflammation and other issues. This is why it is so important to discuss your medical history as well as any medications you are taking with your orthodontist.

How Can You Prevent Gum Tenderness?

Here are some tips that can help to reduce some of the inflammation that you’ve been experiencing with your new braces:

  • Rinse out your mouth multiple times daily with a saltwater rinse. This can help to wash away trapped food debris and kill lingering bacteria that are contributing to your inflammation.
  • Take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen, as directed. This is able to help to reduce swelling and discomfort that you are experiencing.
  • Stay away from tough, hard-to-chew foods when your gums are feeling particularly sore so that the inflammation doesn’t get worse.
  • Floss every day to reduce inflammation of the gums. You could also use a Waterpik, but this is not a substitute for regular flossing. By flossing, you can remove the plaque and food particles that harmful bacteria in the mouth are feeding off of.

Gum inflammation is frustration, but it is easily preventable. By using the tips listed above and talking to your orthodontist, your gums will be healthy again in no time!

About the Author

Dr. Frances Hamman is an experienced orthodontist who has been working in the field for over three decades. She earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery from Creighton University and her degree in orthodontics from Case Western Reserve University. Since then, she has been honored to serve on active duty in the United States Navy where she was stationed at the United States Naval Academy, the Naval Hospital in Great Lakes, IL, and in Yokosuka, Japan. For her exceptional work, she’s been recognized by Northern Virginia Magazine and the Washington Consumers Checkbook magazine as one of “Washington’s Top Orthodontists.” For more information on caring for your braces or to schedule an appointment at her office in Ripon, vis it her website or call (920) 748-7130.

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