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Will I Get Gum Disease from Braces?

by | Dec 25, 2023 | Dental Braces, General Orthodontics, Oral Health | 0 comments

8 min reading time

Let’s talk about a plot twist in the world of braces. 

When most patients envision traditional braces, they’re picturing that dazzling smile awaiting them at the end of the orthodontic journey.

Here’s the twist: sometimes, braces throw us a curveball, leading to gum disease.

But there’s no need to hit the panic button just yet!

Orthodontists are ready to tackle any gum discomfort and ensure your braces journey stays on the straight and narrow!

Why Do My Gums Feel Tender with Braces?

Braces aren’t just a chic accessory for your teeth; they’re on a mission to orchestrate a symphony of health in your mouth.

Orthodontic treatment is akin to rearranging the furniture in a room. Only in this scenario, the room is your mouth.

As your teeth groove to the new arrangement, there’s a bit of pressure dance with the surrounding gum tissue. This choreography might leave your gums sore or tender, especially after a brace adjustment.

Adding to the mix, the brace material might have a friendly tango with your gums, occasionally leading to irritation. It’s like breaking in a new pair of shoes that might give you a blister or two. 

But worry not; it’s all part of the transformative dance towards a healthier smile!

Young woman with braces

Can Braces Cause Gum Disease?

Braces aren’t the culprits behind gum disease, but they add a cleaning challenge for your teeth and gums.

With all those brackets, wires, and bands, there’s a symphony of nooks and crannies where food and plaque might throw a secret party. And if that plaque decides to stick around uninvited? Say hello to gingivitis or gum disease.

Gingivitis kicks off when plaque throws a bit of a tantrum, causing the gums to turn red, swell, and even bleed during your brushing and flossing routines. If you let it linger without an eviction notice, it might escalate into a more severe issue, impacting the bone underneath—enter the grand stage of periodontitis!

Is It Normal to Get Gum Disease with Braces?

Gum disease with braces is more common than you’d imagine.

We all have a touch of plaque hanging around in our mouths. But without those stellar oral hygiene habits, that plaque will stir up trouble for your gums, leading to the classic signs of gingivitis—swelling and a bit of bleeding.

6 Ways to Soothe Your Gum Discomfort with Braces

How to Soothe Your Gum Discomfort with Braces

If you’ve got braces, you might feel like your gums are throwing a little protest party in your mouth. Not to worry—we’ve got some nifty ways to help ease that gum discomfort:

  • Warm Salt Water Rinses: Mix a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water, then swish it around your mouth for about 30 seconds. It will reduce swelling and ease discomfort—but don’t swallow it!
  • Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers: Ibuprofen and acetaminophen reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.
  • Oral Gels: Those store-bought gels? A little magic potion for your sore spots. They usually numb things up, offering temporary relief for your gums.
  • Cold Compresses: A cold pack wrapped in a cloth against your cheek is a mini-vacation for your pain and inflammation.
  • Maintaining Proper Oral Hygiene: A clean mouth is a happy mouth! Keeping your teeth and braces in tip-top shape minimizes the risk of swollen gums in the first place.
  • Orthodontic Wax: This little hero is a lifesaver if your braces rub your gums incorrectly. Roll a bit of wax into a tiny ball and pop it over the pesky bracket or wire.

7 Ways to Prevent Gum Disease with Braces

7 Ways to Prevent Gum Disease with Braces

Preventing gum disease while rocking braces is totally doable! Here’s your game plan:

  • Brush Up!: Make friends with your toothbrush and aim to brush after every meal. Get rid of those sneaky food particles trying to camp out in your braces.
  • Get Into Flossing: Flossing with braces might sound like a mission, but trust us, it’s a game-changer. Special floss designed for braces makes the job a breeze.
  • Use Mouthwash: Bring in the big guns: Antimicrobial mouthwash. It eradicates the bacteria causing gingivitis. Swish it around, and it’ll reach those nooks your toothbrush might miss.
  • Regular Dental Check-Ups: Visit your dentist regularly, not just your orthodontist. They’ll give your teeth a deep cleaning and be on the lookout for any early signs of gingivitis.
  • Watch What You Eat: Sticky, sugary foods and braces aren’t the best combo. Hold off on the caramel popcorn until your orthodontic treatment is a wrap.
  • Avoid Tobacco: Tobacco is bad news for your gums and overall health. If you need another reason to kick the habit, your gums will thank you!
  • Wear a Mouth Guard: If sports are your jam, a mouth guard is like a superhero cape for your braces, teeth, and gums. Protection mode activated!

How Do You Get Rid of Gum Disease Caused by Braces?

How to Get Rid of Gum Disease Caused by Braces

5 Approaches to Treating Gum Disease

  1. Specialized Tools: These tools gently and effectively clean around your braces and gums, ensuring a top-notch clean.
  2. Guided Brushing and Flossing: It’s not just about being told to brush and floss; it’s a hands-on lesson. Dental pros show you the ropes, ensuring you’ve mastered the techniques. No nook or cranny left uncleaned!
  3. Medicated Mouthwash: Your dentist might prescribe a medicated mouthwash tailored to kick gum disease to the curb.
  4. Advice on Tools for Home: Have you ever tried a water flosser or interdental brushes? These nifty tools make cleaning around braces a breeze. Your dental squad will hook you up with the best gear for your home arsenal.
  5. Periodontists to the Rescue: If things get real, your dentist might call in the big guns—a periodontist. These specialists have the skills and know-how to tackle gingivitis and periodontitis with precision treatments.

Teamwork makes the dream work, especially when it comes to your oral health!

Can I Get Braces with Gum Disease?

Getting braces with gum disease is technically doable, but it’s not the wisest move.

The first step? 

Get those gums in tip-top shape. 

Once your gums return to their healthy selves, you can dive into orthodontic treatment for that picture-perfect smile!

Gingivitis can turn your gums red, swollen, and occasionally bleeding. Introducing braces without resolving this beforehand only adds complexity.

The wires and brackets create more nooks and crannies to clean, and things will escalate if your gums are already in trouble.

Most dentists and orthodontists advise resolving gingivitis before going for braces. It’s like making sure the canvas is pristine before starting your masterpiece. This way, when you kick off your orthodontic journey, you build on a solid, clean foundation, ensuring a smoother and more effective process.

Can I Get Braces with Periodontal Disease?

When considering braces, you enlist a tool to shift and straighten your teeth. But here’s the deal—they need a reliable foundation for braces to work their magic.

This foundation? Your gums and the bone structure underneath.

If that foundation is shaky due to periodontal disease, messing around with teeth movement becomes risky.

Orthodontists and dentists won’t green-light your orthodontic dreams if there’s a hint of periodontal disease. 

Their advice? 

Prioritize your oral health first—special cleanings, treatments, and maybe even a bit of surgery to ensure your gums are in tip-top shape.

Once your gums are back in the game and they can confidently support those braces, the real magic happens!

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Don’t Let Gum Disease Delay Your Orthodontic Treatment!

Contact Loudoun Orthodontics if orthodontic care is the solution to your dental woes. Whether you want to learn more about the benefits of orthodontic care or have questions about the process, use our live chat or call (703) 858-0303 or send us a message through our Contact Us page to connect with our friendly staff today and book a complimentary orthodontic consultation! 

Our office—located at 19465 Deerfield Ave. Suite 304 Lansdowne, VA 20176—proudly serves the Lansdowne, VA area. So, if you’re residing in Ashburn, Sterling, or Leesburg and are looking for one of the best orthodontists in Virginia, don’t hesitate to visit our office! 

We also invite you to keep up with our blog to get answers to many of the frequently asked questions about maintaining your perfect smile, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to become a part of our smiling community!

References

  1. “Can I Wear Braces If I Have Periodontal Disease?” Hawaiian Smiles, 20 Dec. 2022, hawaiiansmilesortho.com/can-i-wear-braces-if-i-have-periodontal-braces/. Accessed 1 Nov. 2023.
  2. “Can You Get Braces with Gum Disease & Periodontal Disease.” OnShore Orthodontics, 7 Dec. 2022, onshoreorthodontics.com/can-i-wear-braces-if-i-have-periodontal-disease-or-gum-disease/. Accessed 1 Nov. 2023.
  3. “I Have Gum Disease. Can I Still Get Braces?” Cronin Ortho, www.croninortho.com/blog/2020/02/i-have-gum-disease-can-i-still-get-braces. Accessed 1 Nov. 2023.
  4. “Periodontal Disease and Braces Everett.” Silverlake Orthodontics, 22 June 2023, www.silverlakebraces.com/the-relationship-between-periodontal-disease-and-braces/. Accessed 1 Nov. 2023.
  5. “Swollen Gums with Braces: Causes and Treatments.” Toothpaste and Toothbrush for Gum Health, www.parodontax.com/gum-health/all-about-gums/swollen-gums-with-braces/. Accessed 1 Nov. 2023.
  6. “Swollen Gums with Braces: Causes, Treatments, and More.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 1 June 2020, www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/swollen-gums-with-braces. Accessed 1 Nov. 2023.
  7. “Swollen Gums with Braces – Concerning?: The Orthodontists Blog.” Swollen Gums with Braces – Concerning? | The Orthodontists Blog, 9 Nov. 2021, www.theorthodontists.com.au/blog/swollen-gums-with-braces-should-i-be-concerned. Accessed 1 Nov. 2023.
  8. “Treating Gum Disease While Wearing Braces: Gainesville, GA.” The Gainesville Dental Group, 27 Dec. 2021, www.gainesvilledentalgroup.com/2021/12/26/have-braces-put-gum-disease-on-your-radar/. Accessed 1 Nov. 2023.