Traditional braces will give you a beautiful smile and straight teeth, but achieving that perfect smile sometimes comes with certain challenges. One of those challenges is maintaining an effective dental hygiene routine. Failing to do so leads to the accumulation of plaque, which eventually produces bacteria that can lead to minor gum disease, called gingivitis. The good news is that gingivitis is reversible and you never need to wait until the end of orthodontic treatment to take preventive steps. But what exactly is gingivitis? And how do you reverse it after you experience the symptoms of gingivitis? Keep reading to learn how you can easily avoid gingivitis.
Swelling and Bleeding Gums with Braces
Orthodontic treatments are done on a regular basis to adjust your braces. It is normal to experience some swelling, bleeding, and soreness for a few days following an adjustment. Since your teeth are being moved, it requires the existing bone to dissolve for the formation of new bone which may cause pressure and tension, a normal result of orthodontic treatment.
If the pain is persistent, it may be a sign of gingivitis. Since your gums may already experience inflammation when you are in braces, it makes it even easier for bacteria to irritate them. While the lack of good oral hygiene is a primary reason for gingivitis, there are other risk factors that may lead to gum disease including a poor diet, surges in hormone levels, excessive use of tobacco, and broken fillings.
Signs and Symptoms of Gingivitis
If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to a more serious form of gum disease, called periodontitis. If serious gum disease develops, this will adversely affect the bones and connective tissue holding your teeth in place. You may eventually experience receding of the gums, pockets forming between teeth which may lead to serious damage. Here are some signs and symptoms to look out for in the early stages of gum disease:
- Red, irritated and swollen gums
- Bleeding when brushing and flossing your teeth
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Tenderness in teeth and gums
6 Preventive Measures to take to Avoid Gingivitis
Normally, regular brushing and flossing is the best way to take care of teeth and gums, but with braces, it takes a little extra effort to maintain good oral hygiene. Other simple measures can go a long way to help you avoid gingivitis including:
- Keeping up with your regular dental hygiene appointments
- Using interdental brushes to clean around the dental brackets and wires
- Using an antibacterial mouth rinse
- Using electric flossers and toothbrushes to aid oral care
- Eating a healthy and balanced diet
- Gargling with warm salt water to ease gum irritation
Our expert Charleston County orthodontist and highly trained staff at Reese Orthodontics are eager to join you and your family on the journey to a healthier and happier smile. To request your appointment with our friendly and knowledgeable orthodontist Dr. Reese, please contact us.