After your braces are fitted, you might experience a brief period of discomfort. Your gums can become irritated and even swollen, but this will quickly ease off. But what about when that discomfort returns? After you've had your braces for some time, inflamed gums with light bleeding can be a sign of gingivitis. Although gingivitis is a common dental issue, it can be particularly problematic for someone with braces.
No Direct Trigger
Some minor discomfort and irritation can be expected when your orthodontist adjusts your braces, but again, this will quickly subside. Gingivitis can be suspected when this irritation has no obvious direct trigger. Gingivitis can be tricky to correct when someone wears braces; in fact, your braces can make you more susceptible to gingivitis.
The different components of your braces apply gentle, consistent pressure to your teeth, slowly moving them into the correct alignment. Your teeth are being strategically repositioned, and this process can result in minuscule spaces being created around your teeth and in your gingival sulcus. These spaces can be a magnet for oral bacteria and tiny pieces of food. The presence of your braces can make it difficult to accurately clean your teeth, which is your best weapon against gingivitis.
Tooth and Root Structure
Untreated gingivitis can intensify, leading to periodontal disease. This will eventually begin to compromise the structure of your teeth, and when the root structure is affected, it can even threaten the stability of the tooth. This is a real concern when someone is wearing braces since the tooth (and its root structure) is already under pressure from the braces. So what should someone with braces do if they think they're developing gingivitis?
Getting Help with Gingivitis
You should consult your orthodontist or dentist when you begin to experience the signs of gingivitis. Your teeth might require professional cleaning in a manner that accommodates your braces, removing the dental plaque that is contributing to your gingivitis. Medicated mouthwash can also be appropriate, and you might even be prescribed antibiotics to control the bacterial infection in your gums. You should also discuss your oral hygiene practices, and it might be recommended that you change your approach, or even upgrade your equipment.
It's important that someone with braces clear their gingivitis before it has a chance to get any worse, possibly threatening the overall health of your teeth. For more information about seeing an orthodontist for advice about gingivitis, contact a local orthodontal office.