Swollen gums with braces. What does it mean?

Swollen gums with braces. What does it mean?

Swollen gums with braces are often the most common problem people encounter during orthodontic treatments. So, in this article, we will try to understand what are swollen gums and how to manage swollen gums with braces treatment.

Why do we have swollen gums?

Swollen gums are the most common problem, people face during braces treatment. They hamper the comfort and may provide constant pain to the person wearing braces.

Moreover, the swollen gums become the niche for food lodgment and may turn into calculus within a few days. So let us understand the reasons for swollen gums in people with braces.

Reasons for swollen gums with braces

There are various reasons for swollen gums with braces. We have discussed them below.

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Constant pressure

The braces work by applying constant pressure on the teeth. As a result, the bone present on one side of the teeth gets resorbed and new bone forms on the other side of the teeth, facilitating the teeth to move to the preferable position.

As a result, we can observe a lot of inflammatory mediators acting on teeth during the movement. Hence we may observe mild swelling on gums during the movement. It is normal and will be relieved once the movement stops.

Trauma from braces (broken braces)

Sometimes, due to improper maintenance, the Ni-ti wire used to apply force on teeth gets detached from the braces and may traumatize the gums.

As a result, we may observe gingival abscess, which can be treated and cured by replacing the ortho wire to its normal position.

Improper oral hygiene

Maintaining good oral hygiene is a tough task when it comes to patients undergoing braces treatment.

Food often gets stuck between teeth and braces and gets solidified. As a result, the gums in the same region gets irritated and become swollen.

Allergic to rubber products

Your dentist might use elastics during orthodontic treatment. The elastics are rubber products that fix the orthodontic wire to the braces.

People who are allergic to rubber products might develop severe irritation in gums when these products are used in the treatment.

Hormonal changes

Teenagers under the age of 18 to 20 have severe hormonal changes in the body. As a result, their gums become more tender and easily get irritated by even minor calculus.

Such children often complain of a burning sensation, gum pain, and swollen gums after placing braces.

Pregnancy Gingivitis

Similar to teenagers, people during pregnancy also have hormonal changes and imbalances. As a result, they suffer from hyper irritation and hyper inflammation of the gums.

Also read:

How to manage swollen gums with braces

Managing swollen gums during braces treatment is easy and practicable. Here are a few tips on managing swollen gums during braces treatment.

Good oral hygiene

Good oral hygiene is vital for maintaining gums during orthodontic treatment. Brush twice a day and take all necessary precautions to prevent food lodgment.

During and after eating, try to rinse your mouth so that the food stuck between braces gets cleaned.

Ortho brushes

It is wiser to use ortho brushes for cleaning your teeth. Ortho brushes are specially designed for people under braces treatment. They aid in superior cleaning of teeth and help in preventing food lodgment between teeth and braces.

Here are a few suggestions for Orthodontic brushes that are available on amazon.

Water splasher

Fibre food often gets stuck between teeth and braces are difficult to clean. Moreover, using any hard instrument to remove such food particles might destroy the braces’ attachments.

Hence water splashers might come to your rescue if you are a hardcore non-vegetarian and eat fiber a lot.

A water splasher helps in deep cleaning and also prevents food lodgment between teeth and between teeth and gums. Using it after every meal is advisable.


Mouthwashes help in preventing plaque accumulation and help you as a home remedy. Their antibacterial properties prevent microbial deposition and help in preventing gingivitis and gum swellings.

it is advisable to use mouthwashes once a week throughout the treatment. Regular use of mouthwashes for prolonged periods is not advisable. Hence, using once a week is preferable for getting relief from swollen gums with braces.

Alternate products to rubber (self-ligating braces)

People who are allergic to rubber can have alternate products for their treatments. For example, instead of regular braces, they can opt for self-ligating braces, which do not use any rubber elastics.

The brackets in the self-ligating braces come with a door that will be closed after positioning the orthodontic wire into the brackets. As a result, no elastics will be required for positioning the wire.

Care during hormonal changes and pregnancy

At most care should be taken for people in their teenage and pregnancy. Teenagers between 18 to 20  will face huge hormonal fluctuations in their bodies. Similarly, pregnancy comes with a change in hormonal equilibrium.

Such conditions should be treated with utmost care. The gums in these patients will be highly sensitive and get easily irritated. Hence, even minor food lodgement or plaque formation on their teeth may result in severe inflammation of the gums, resulting in gum swellings.

Regular professional teeth cleaning, every 6 months, might result in decreasing gum irritation.

A good diet for gums

A good diet for gums is vital in maintaining the integrity of gums. Feeble and unhealthy gums are more prone to irritation and swellings.

To know more about maintaining gums healthy, read our article here


Gums are the most sensitive part of the oral cavity. They get irritated easily. Hence maintaining proper oral hygiene is vital for people under braces treatment.

However gingivitis and mild swellings are inevitable during the treatment, they should be taken care of and should be managed professionally. Visit your dentist for more information.

In case of any questions, ask your doubts in the comment section. We will be pleased to answer.

Dr. Kiran

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