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Braces and Swelling or Bleeding Gums What Does it Mean and What to Do The most common cause of bleeding gums in ALL cases is gingivitis or gum disease. But the fact is that braces can make it easier for gum disease to take hold in your mouth.

At My Local Dentists Northmead, we want you to know why braces may make your gums bleed, and what you can do about it.

There are multiple possible causes of swelling and bleeding related to braces.

Normal Swelling

Pain and swelling are a normal part of orthodontic work, but they shouldn’t continue long after installation or adjustment. But if you have prolonged pain, swelling, or bleeding, you need to contact your Northmead dentist immediately.

Swelling & Bleeding From Gingivitis

If you experience swelling or bleeding over time or that begins without a regular adjustment to trigger it, then it’s likely due to gingivitis, which is the beginning stage of gum disease. The brackets, wires, and bands of orthodontic treatment cover a large portion of the tooth surface and make it harder to effectively clean your teeth and below the gumline. This makes you more likely to develop a buildup of plaque and bacteria that leads to the early stages of gum disease. Swelling, redness, tenderness, and bleeding when brushing are symptoms of developing gum disease. As the disease advances, it can lead to more serious problems including detachment of the structures that support the teeth. This is a more serious problem when your teeth are already being moved orthodontically.

Hormones Can Cause Swelling & Bleeding

Surges in hormone levels can contribute to gum disease. This can be an issue with pregnancy or birth control. Hormones can also cause swollen or bleeding gums during puberty; since many people have orthodontic treatment during their teenage years, these two events often occur at the same time.

Swelling Due To Braces (Hypertrophy And Hyperplasia)

Orthodontic devices on their own can cause gum irritation and swelling if the gums react to the close proximity to the devices. Hypertrophy is an overgrowth of gum cells and hyperplasia is an increase in gum cells; both of these conditions cause the gums to swell, giving the smile an unusual appearance. Unfortunately, the teeth become increasingly difficult to properly clean as the gums swell, leading to further problems. Treatment may be necessary.

How To Protect Against Swelling And Bleeding

The tools and equipment you will use when you have braces include:

  • Soft-bristled toothbrush
  • Waxed dental floss or special dental floss just for braces
  • Orthodontic floss threader
  • Mouthwash

Another great tool is a water flosser. The water it squirts removes food that is stuck in your braces and plaque that has built up.

To brush your teeth with braces, do the following:

  • Place the brush end against your teeth and hold the handle parallel to the floor.
  • Use small, circular motions to move the brush. Move the brush slowly from tooth to tooth and follow the shape or curve of your teeth and gums.
  • It should take several seconds to properly clean each tooth.
  • Brush all sides of the teeth, the top, insides, back, and behind your back teeth
  • Brush your tongue.
  • Brush and clean your brackets by slightly angling the toothbrush against the bracket and slowly brushing.
  • Brush underneath the wires.

Flossing is more difficult when you have braces. Flossing with braces includes the following steps:

  • Place the floss under the wire.
  • Thread the floss through until it is at the halfway mark on the floss
  • Gently and carefully slide the floss in an up and down motion.
  • Floss until you hear a squeaking sound then move on to the next area
  • Shape the floss into a C shape and gently floss the gum lines. Make sure to get below the gum line
  • Don’t apply too much pressure while flossing with braces

Office Care For Bleeding Gums

If you normal oral hygiene procedures are not enough to keep you from swelling or bleeding gums, at My Local Dentists Northmead we can clean your teeth, treat your gums, and even recommend mouthrinses that will help your get your gums under control. In serious cases, we may recommend periodontal treatment.

Whatever your case, at My Local Dentists Northmead, we have the right treatment for you!

Dental Care at My Local Dentists Northmead

At My Local Dentists Northmead your oral health and the appearance of your smile is important to us. Our highly trained staff can treat any dental issue in patients with orthodontic appliances or any other dental circumstance. Our commitment to our patients is dental health and an attractive smile for the holidays and a lifetime!

We like to make life a little bit easier for our patients by offering longer hours on weekdays and weekend appointments.

Visit us at our conveniently located office: 19/5-7 Kleins Rd,Northmead, NSW 2152

Call your Northmead dentist on (02) 9630 9996 or request your appointment online today!