Swollen gums after orthodontic treatment, such as braces, is usually a protective response of the immune system against irritation and pressure caused by the new appliances. Gingivitis or infection also cause swollen gums. It is good to understand how to treat your swollen gums.
Causes of Swollen Gums
There are numerous reasons that your gums might become swollen, even if you do not have braces for your teeth. You can avoid most of these common causes by changing some habits:
- Brushing too hard. Do not use aggressive back and forth or up and down patterns. Rather use gentle motions in a circular pattern, which massages and cleans.
- Choosing the wrong toothbrush. Choose a brush with soft, nylon bristles. Avoid brushes with medium or hard bristles.
- Flossing too fast. Use gentle flossing technique, working into tight spaces by following the curve of each tooth.
- New orthodontic appliances. Braces and aligners put pressure on the gums as well, causing swollen gums.
Several things can be done to reduce discomfort and soothe your irritated gums at home, for example:
- Brush frequently but gently with a soft toothbrush to remove bacteria and any trapped particles.
- Floss at least once a day and clean under the gumline to remove particles, plaque, and bacteria that your toothbrush cannot reach.
- Rinse with a recommended mouthwash after flossing to remove what was left behind after flossing and brushing. Using medicated rinses actively kills bacteria and speeds up healing.
- You can also rinse the mouth with a mild, warm saltwater solution to help speed the healing of rubbing irritations and discourage bacterial growth.
- Disinfecting toothbrushes and removable appliances with rinses or UV light can help keep your gums healthy.
- Cold liquids reduce swelling, and an ice pack can work with over the counter pain-relievers to eliminate discomfort during an adjustment to new orthodontic devices.