How to Treat Swollen Gums with Braces

The most common symptoms of swollen gums are: swelling, pain, redness and bleeding from your mouth or inside your mouth. You may experience these symptoms when you have a cold sore or other infection in your mouth. Other possible causes include: tooth decay (dental caries), periodontal disease (gum disease) and food allergies.

What Are the Symptoms of Swollen Gums With Braces?

You may experience swollen gums with braces if you have a tooth problem such as: tooth decay (dental caries), periodontal disease (gum disease) and food allergies. If you suffer from gum disease, it means that your teeth are infected. Your dentist will diagnose the exact reason behind the swelling of your gums. Some of the reasons could be:

Dentist Diagnosis of Gum Disease

Your dentist will examine your teeth and make a diagnosis. They will ask you questions about your dental health history and how often you brush your teeth. They will check whether there are any cavities in your teeth. The dentist may recommend that you get tested for certain types of bacteria or viruses in order to identify which one is causing the infection.

Other possible causes of swollen gums with braces are tooth decay (dental caries), periodontal disease (gum disease) and food allergies. If you suffer from tooth decay, it means that one or more of your teeth has decayed, or been damaged by bacteria. This may cause the gums to become infected as well. In the case of periodontal disease, your gums begin to pull away from the tooth. Food can become trapped in the pockets created by the gums and mouth bacteria can multiply there.

If food allergy is the cause of your swollen gums, eating certain types of food such as milk, cheese or even nuts can trigger a reaction.

Swollen gums with braces may be the sign of an infection in your mouth. The dentist will check whether you have any cavities or other tooth problems. If you do, they will be able to treat the problem and relieve the swelling of your gums.

How to Stop the Swelling?

The best way to stop the swelling is to see a dentist as soon as possible. They will be able to identify the cause of your swollen gums and treat it. Your dentist may have to perform a dental scaling procedure in order to clean tartar and plaque from your teeth. In severe cases, you may require a root canal treatment or even surgery. In addition, your dentist may prescribe an antibiotic to treat the infection.

If you suffer from swollen gums when you do not have braces, it is likely that there is an underlying medical condition that is causing it. Appointments with your doctor will help you get a proper diagnosis and begin an effective treatment plan. If you suffer from swollen gums at the base of a baby tooth, it is likely to fall out soon. This is normal and nothing to worry about. If however you notice a lump under your tongue, you should contact your doctor as this could be a symptom of something more serious such as cancer.

You may also try to relieve the swelling of your gums by not opening your mouth as wide during brushing. Try using a smaller toothbrush or an electric one. Also, look for a sensitive toothpaste that will not irritate your swollen gums. Do not brush too hard as this can also irritate the area further.

If you are suffering from swollen gums with braces, the best way to prevent further damage is to clean your teeth twice a day. Use dental floss to remove any food that has gotten stuck in between your teeth. Cleaning your tongue and the roof of your mouth is also recommended as these areas are rarely reached by a regular toothbrush. If you are prone to swollen gums, you may want to have a soft diet until the swelling has gone down.

You can also try rinsing your mouth with warm salt water or sucking on a cough drop in order to relieve some of the pain and discomfort. If you suffer from swollen gums as a result of an injury or accident, use ice packs and over the counter pain medications to help reduce swelling.

Do not play with the swelling or try to pop the blisters by yourself as this could result in an infection. If the pain does not go away or if you experience any other symptoms, contact your dentist immediately.

Be aware that some medical conditions may make you more prone to swollen gums. These include:



Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

Tumors in the mouth or neck region

In some rare cases, excessive use of steroid medication can also cause swollen gums.

Other symptoms to watch out for include:

Swelling in the neck region

Difficulty swallowing or speaking

Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

Headaches and vision problems

Pain in the jaw that is persistent, getting worse or not going away


If you suffer from swollen gums, or have any of the other symptoms listed in this article, you should see your dentist immediately. Early detection and treatment is vital for success and can help prevent more serious issues such as infections and tumors.

In many cases, swollen gums are a minor issue that will disappear soon after treatment or once the underlying cause has been identified and treated properly. While most of the time, swollen gums are painless and do not cause any hindrance to your regular daily activities, it is always better to get it checked out just to be on the safe side.

Once your dentist has ruled out anything serious, he can then provide you with tips on how to prevent your gums from swelling in the future. The tips mentioned in this article should come in handy during your follow-up visit.

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Mayo Clinic: Swollen Gums

MedlinePlus: Swollen Gums

Healthy People: Dental Health

NIDCR: Swollen Gums

Sources & references used in this article:

Considerations for the orthodontic treatment during pregnancy by A Sachan, VK Verma, S Panda… – Journal of Orthodontic …, 2013 –

How to recognize the eight signs of periodontitis? by JM Dersot – International Orthodontics, 2013 – Elsevier

Are you treating planned cases or treating teeth to stay busy? by B LeSage – Dent Today, 2012 –

Modified miniplates for temporary skeletal anchorage in orthodontics: placement and removal surgeries by MA Cornelis, NR Scheffler, P Mahy, S Siciliano… – Journal of Oral and …, 2008 – Elsevier