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Swollen gums and orthodontic treatment

Swollen gums and orthodontic treatment

Swollen gums or gingivitis: what it is, and what its symptoms are

Swollen gums is one of the most frequent problems among the patients of dental clinics. Swelling of the gums occurs because of an accumulation of bacterial plaque, brought about by poor oral hygiene.

The typical sign is a reddening and bleeding of the gums when the teeth are brushed or when eating something hard. If this process is allowed to continue, it can affect not only the gums but also the bone, which may be destroyed. This problem is known as periodontitis or gum disease, or is sometimes called pyorrhea.

In many cases, especially with adult patients, swollen gums and other periodontal problems are present prior to the treatment. These problems must be dealt with before starting orthodontic treatment.

Swollen gums in orthodontic treatments

Brackets, wires and ligatures make hygiene more difficult; the retention of food and bacterial plaque increases during treatments using fixed orthodontics, be it with vestibular or visible brackets or with lingual invisible brackets.

With these orthodontics systems it is somewhat harder to achieve optimal oral hygiene, meaning that the risk of suffering from gingivitis or periodontitis can increase if treatment is not received in time. This problem is markedly reduced with Invisalign transparent orthodontics, given that the aligners can be taken in and out, and when it is time for the teeth to be brushed the patient is not wearing them.

sangrado de encias con brackets

Image of a patient with very swollen gums due to a lack of brushing.

The problem is doubled by the fact that the appliances not only make it harder to clean the teeth, but also increase the build-up of bacterial plaque and the food remains.

Gums become redder and get swollen, they increase in size and begin to bleed and cause pain. At this point the patient is no longer able to clean well because of the discomfort and because the enlarged and hypertrophic gums make it even harder.

When the gums get bigger they can sometimes cover part of the teeth and even part of the bracket. If the swelling of the gums reaches this point, the treatment has to be stopped and the gum problem treated before anything can continue. All of these problems are avoided by the simple act of brushing your teeth properly.

encias inflamadas durante tratamiento de ortodoncia

Image of gums that are very swollen and bleeding during orthodontic treatment. In this case we had to remove the appliance and stop the treatment before its completion due to a lack of collaboration and the patient’s poor hygiene.

Dental hygiene during orthodontic treatment

There should be no cause for alarm, however, as it is not hard to maintain good oral hygiene and health during orthodontic treatments. There are hundreds of patients at our clinic in Barcelona who successfully undergo fixed orthodontic treatment and maintain oral health at the same time.

For proper oral hygiene we recommend using a toothbrush, interproximal brushes, an oral irrigator and other products created to address this problem.

cepillado dental con brackets

Image of a patient wearing an orthodontic appliance with healthy gums.

We help you to keep your gums healthy by reinforcing your personal hygiene, offering advice to improve your hygiene, and with professional cleaning by a hygienist during the orthodontic treatment. 

For further information please contact us by telephone (+34) 93 832 72 81.

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