What Causes Swollen Gums with Braces
Teeth movement. During your orthodontic treatment, you may not be able to see your teeth move, but braces apply a steady, constant pressure that causes changes to occur in your jawbone and gums. As a result, it’s natural for your gums to feel sore, especially after your orthodontist adjusts the braces each month or so. If your swollen gums are related to teeth movement, your gums will likely go back to normal after the braces are removed.
Gum Disease. Braces create tiny spaces around your teeth. This makes it easy for food particles to get trapped in these spaces, resulting in bacteria-filled plaque deposits. If these deposits of food and plaque aren’t regularly removed, you face an increased risk of having gum disease. Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. It causes the gums to become red and swollen, and they might bleed easily.
Pregnancy Gingivitis. While you most likely won’t seek out orthodontic treatment if you’re pregnant, it’s important to note that some women develop a condition known as pregnancy gingivitis. It’s caused by the hormonal changes you’ll experience during pregnancy. If you decide to get braces while pregnant, it’s essential that you talk to your orthodontist about how to prevent pregnancy gingivitis.
Gingival Enlargement. Your swollen gums might actually be gingival enlargement, also known as gingival hyperplasia or hypertrophy. Gingival enlargement is the abnormal overgrowth of gingival tissues. The American Academy of Oral Medicine (AAOM) notes that while hereditary or medicinal factors usually trigger it, it can also be a response that occurs when plaque accumulates on the teeth, something that can happen more easily while wearing braces.