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If your gums swell after your braces are installed or adjusted, the symptoms may disappear after a few days.
If swelling and tenderness persist, you can try at-home and in-office treatments.
To relieve symptoms at home, try:
Always contact your dentist if your swollen gums persist for a long time or don’t respond to at-home remedies. Your dentist may recommend in-office treatments for severe gum inflammation, such as:
It’s normal to experience swollen gums when you have braces, especially when you first get them on. However, you can take several steps to keep the swelling down.
Here are some best practices for keeping braces clean and comfortable:
Braces are dental appliances used to straighten crooked teeth or realign jaws over time. They can cause swollen gums, especially after they’re installed or adjusted.
Gum swelling caused by braces usually subsides after a short time. If it doesn’t, it may signify other dental conditions, including:
Gingivitis is a mild gum disease where gum tissue becomes inflamed. Studies show that people with braces have higher rates of gingivitis.1
Braces move teeth apart, creating gaps for bacteria to grow. You can develop gingivitis if you have trouble with or neglect oral hygiene when you have braces.
Other symptoms of gingivitis besides swollen gums include:
Orthodontic braces move teeth into alignment. As they do this, they may irritate the soft tissue between your teeth. Swollen gums may occur as a result.
Swelling from teeth movement should be temporary. You can brush and floss daily to relieve and prevent gum soreness.
Gingival hyperplasia, also known as gingival enlargement, involves an overgrowth of gum tissue around the teeth. Braces can trigger gingival hyperplasia and cause gums to grow larger or even over the braces.
Typically, gingival enlargement will subside in the weeks after your dentist removes your braces. If the condition is severe, your dentist may recommend a procedure, such as a gingivectomy, to reduce the gum overgrowth.
Removing excess tissue can keep plaque growth and swelling under control.2
Hormone shifts, such as during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause, can cause swollen or tender gums. These hormonal events can increase the inflammation response to plaque build-up in the gums.3
If you have braces during a significant hormonal event, it may cause swollen gums. You may also experience bleeding gums.
Braces contain hypoallergenic materials but can cause an allergic reaction in rare cases.
Swollen, puffy, or itchy gums might indicate an allergic reaction. Contact your dentist immediately.
Swollen gums are a common occurrence when you have braces. You might experience them after having your braces initially placed or adjusted.
Other factors can also contribute to swollen or tender gums. These include gingivitis, teeth movement, and hormone changes.
Being vigilant about your oral hygiene routine is the best way to prevent and soothe swollen gums.
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