Swollen Gums with Braces – How are They Related?

Braces or orthodontia are great for straightening your teeth but they may be responsible for some gum problems. Swollen gums are commonly observed during the period when you are wearing braces.

There can be several reasons for the appearance of the swollen gums while you are still wearing the braces. (1)


It requires proper brushing and flossing to keep teeth clean while braces are present in the mouth. Food particles easily get tapped in braces, and without proper cleaning, the gums become inflamed and get swollen.

Certain medications or pregnancy can also cause excessive gum growth. Also, incorrect positioning of braces may cause some gingival (gums) swelling inflammation.

Soreness due to braces

It’s normal to feel some pain and soreness in your mouth after receiving new braces. Your teeth and jaw get under a lot of pressure for creating a new smile.

The bone at some area dissolve and new bone is formed as your teeth are repositioned in the jaw. This causes tension and pressure.

The discomfort is normal when you initially get braces or have the braces readjusted, and the soreness can last for two to three days. Soreness caused by swollen gums can be due to other problems unrelated to initial wear due to braces.

What are the possible reasons for swollen gums after receiving braces?

There are various reasons for swollen gums with braces in your mouth. The most common reason for swelling of gums is due to poor oral hygiene. Gums get inflamed without proper brushing and flossing.

Various other reasons might be responsible for swollen gums like medication, poor positioning of braces or pregnancy. Following are the most common reasons for swollen gums due to the presence of braces in the oral cavity –


Teeth with braces are more prone to gingivitis as brushing with braces can make it more difficult to clean your teeth. As a result, a buildup of an invisible bacterial film, known as plaque, can appear on the surface of the tooth and near the gum line.

If plaque is not removed regularly by brushing and flossing, then the bacteria in plaque can produce a minor gum disease known as gingivitis.

To get quick relief, learn the correct technique of brushing and buy special toothbrush to clean between braces.

Gum swelling due to braces

Gingival enlargement is commonly seen after the braces are placed on the teeth. Gingival enlargement is also known as hypertrophy or hyperplasia, and it appears either when there is an overgrowth of gum tissue or increase in gum cells.

In most cases, it happens because your gums react to your braces and become irritated.

Swelling of gums due to hormonal changes

For most of the adult, hormonal disturbances is not a matter of worry. But in pregnant women, the hormonal changes can increase the chances of gum diseases.

Pregnant women are advised not to get braces as braces may irritate the gums and may cause soreness. (2)

Hormonal changes and medications can affect the orthodontic tooth movement due to braces. If a pregnant woman is wearing braces and has problems, then it is important for her to visit their orthodontist on a regular basis during pregnancy.

How to get rid of swollen gums with braces?

Your teeth under orthodontic treatment can easily get gum diseases, and if the mild form of gum diseases is left untreated, it leads to periodontitis or even loss of teeth.

The best way to prevent swollen gums or gum diseases is to clean your mouth properly. (3) Here are some tips you can follow to get quick relief from swollen gums –

  • Floss at least once daily and use special floss to clean around your braces.
  • Brush after every meal and use a soft-bristled brush.
  • Use antibacterial mouth rinse.
  • Avoid sticky food.
  • Gargle with lukewarm salt water for relief.
  • Drink more water to wash away the food debris.
  • Visit your dentist every six months for cleaning.


Shortly after you receive braces, you may notice swelling in your gums. The pain and soreness just after the orthodontic treatment are normal, but if the swollen gums arise later with no pain, then this might be an issue.

Cleaning your teeth with braces or other orthodontic appliances can be challenging. As a result, a thin film of bacteria starts to coat the teeth surface and leads to dental issues like gum diseases and dental caries.

Practicing good oral hygiene can reverse swollen gums and gum diseases. Swollen gums in pregnant women are mostly due to hormonal surges. Pregnant women having braces should regularly visit an orthodontist as braces may cause discomfort.


Gingivitis can be reversed easily by making your oral hygiene a priority. When you have braces, your teeth are more susceptible to dental problems, good oral hygiene while having braces can help you prevent unnecessary dental issues.

If you suspect any discomfort or problem, then visit your dentist.


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