Gingivitis With Braces: Symptoms, Causes, & Prevention

Gingvitis with Braces

50% of adults in the U.S.A. suffer from gingivitis. This gum disease is also pretty common in people who are going through braces treatment. Braces put gradual but constant pressure on your gums which leads to inflammation. Additionally, your teeth don’t get cleaned entirely with braces. These factors lead to periodontal diseases like gingivitis.

Are you on braces and suspect you might have gingivitis? If yes, then reading this article will clear many of your doubts. We will explain the symptoms and causes of contracting gingivitis with braces. We will also go over the prevention and treatment of gingivitis.

Signs and Symptoms of Gingivitis With Braces

  • Bright red or purple lips, different from their usual appearance.
  • Irritable, puffy, or swollen gums.
  • Tenderness and sensitivity in gums.
  • Unexplained bad breath coming from your mouth.
  • Minor bleeding from gums after brushing and flossing.

Everyone’s case is different. You might not get all or any symptoms. Or those can only be side-effects of your braces treatment. We would recommend you not to reach any conclusion without consulting your orthodontist.

Causes & Risk Factors Leading to Gingivitis With Braces:

Lack of Oral Hygiene

You often can’t brush properly with braces because the food gets stuck in brackets and under the wires. This accumulated food generates bacterial plaque, which becomes the reason for teeth and gum degeneration.

Underlying Health Conditions

If you have underlying health conditions like obesity and diabetes, your chances of getting gingivitis during braces treatment increases. In addition, swollen gums with braces are regular in people suffering from ailments like cancer and HIV infection.

Bad Lifestyle Habits

Here is one more reason to stay away from bad habits. The chances of swollen and bleeding gums increase with smoking and consuming drugs. This is because they reduce the saliva flow in the mouth, which clears bacteria. Some medicines containing Dilantin and anti-aging drugs also lead to abnormal growth of gum tissues.

Hormonal Changes in Females

A female goes through many stages of hormonal changes in her life – puberty, menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause. The increased sensitivity gums due to the hormonal rush in the body increases inflammation and causes gingivitis.

Preventions of Gingivitis With Braces

Regular Oral Hygiene

If not after every meal, at least brush 3 times a day. Use a soft-bristled or electric toothbrush and fluoride enriched toothpaste. Floss at least once a day. You will need a floss threader to floss the braces. You can also use an antibacterial mouthwash.

Avoid Certain Foods

Don’t consume food that is sticky and hard. These food items may get stuck in your braces brackets causing bacteria. Hard food can even damage your braces. So stay away from corn on the cob, hard candies, hard fruits & dry fruits, steak, popcorn, and other troublesome foodstuffs. Drink water after every meal. It will wash off the leftover food particles from your mouth.

Please note that these preventions can’t guarantee 100% that you won’t get gingivitis during your braces treatment. Contact your orthodontist if you notice any symptoms.

Bottom Line

You don’t need to worry, as gingivitis with braces is entirely curable. Thus you shouldn’t ignore the swollen gums with braces if they don’t get normal in a week. Visit your trusted orthodontist at the earliest to seek advice and treatment of gingivitis.

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Dr. Satish Pai

Dr. Satish Pai – an Ivy League trained dentist and a faculty at Columbia University, believes that a perfect smile not only makes a person look great but feel great while boosting confidence.  As the founder of Putnam Orthodontics, he is dedicated to not only creating perfect smiles for his patients but also educating people with his engaging articles about all things related to a perfect smile and oral health. Spending time with his family always brings a smile on his face. 

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