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Can braces cause swollen gums? Why do you get puffy gums with braces? Braces may be a factor in some cases of temporary swelling, but inflamed gums with braces often result from other underlying conditions, such as gum disease. 

Why are gums swollen with braces? At Fergus Orthodontics, we’ve seen a variety of reasons why gums swell after braces. Let’s explore some of the reasons and what you need to do to have healthy gums with braces. 

Why Are My Gums Swollen With Braces?

If you have gums swollen with braces, it could be related to your braces, particularly if you just got your braces. Your teeth will start to move within a few hours of getting your braces. This can cause them to be sensitive. It can also cause your gums to swell as your teeth move against them. 

Often, this happens during the first week with braces. Your gums will return to normal as your mouth gets used to your new braces. It usually takes a few days for the swelling to go away. 

What if you have swollen gums before braces? Chances are there are other reasons.

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Gum Disease

One of the most common causes of swollen gums is periodontal disease, otherwise known as gum disease. There are three main stages of gum disease: gingivitis, periodontitis, and advanced periodontitis. 

Gingivitis systems include swollen or reddened gums, soreness, or bleeding gums, particularly after brushing or flossing. Better oral hygiene habits can usually cure gingivitis. 

Gum disease begins with a lack of good oral hygiene. You must brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once daily. This prevents plaque from building up on your teeth and gums, trapping bacteria. That bacteria can irritate your gums and eat away at your tooth enamel, causing gum disease and tooth decay. 

Without proper oral hygiene, gingivitis becomes periodontitis, which can lead to more severe pain and swelling of the gums. It can also cause the gums to start pulling away from the teeth, which can cause the gums to loosen. 

Advanced periodontitis is the most severe stage of gum disease. You could have serious infections and teeth so loose they fall out at this stage. Infections in the gums can also deteriorate the jawbone. If the infection gets into the blood, it can be life-threatening. 

This can be prevented by catching gum disease in the early stages and treating it properly. To avoid gum disease, brush and floss your teeth and gums daily. 


Injuries to the gums can also cause them to swell. When we say “injuries,” we don’t just mean being hit in the mouth (though that could definitely cause swelling!). 

Your gums can swell from surface burns from eating or drinking something too hot. Food stuck between your gums and teeth can also cause them to swell and become irritated. Poking your gums with things like a fork or a toothpick can also cause swelling. 

Medications and Medical Conditions

Certain medications or medical conditions can cause your gums to swell. Pregnant women often have swollen gums because of pregnancy-related hormonal changes. Some autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, Crohn’s disease, or scleroderma, can cause gums to swell. 

Some medications can cause gum swelling. Blood pressure medications in the calcium channel blocker family can cause your gums to swell. Some antiseizure and immunosuppressant drugs can also cause gum swelling. 

Talk to your doctor if you feel your medications or medical conditions are causing your gums to swell. They may be able to prescribe medications to combat it or change the medications you are taking.

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How to Treat Swollen Gums With Braces

How do you get rid of swollen gums with braces overnight? The answer is simple — you don’t. As with any ailment or injury, your gums must heal from whatever is causing them to swell. This will take some time. How much time depends on the underlying cause. Here are some tips to help relieve your swollen gums.

  • Rinse with warm salt water to soothe puffy gums from braces. Ensure the water isn’t too warm, or you could further irritate your gums. Rinse your gums 3-4 times a day for the first few days after getting your braces or getting an adjustment. This should reduce the swelling and ease any discomfort. 
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever according to the directions to ease any discomfort. Avoid hard foods while your gums are healing. The swelling should disappear after a few days.
  • Improve your oral hygiene habits if you have gum disease. Use a soft-bristled brush, which will feel better on your gums than harder bristles. Your dentist may also recommend an antibacterial rinse to reduce bacteria that could irritate your gums. If your gums are infected, your dentist or doctor may put you on an antibiotic. 
  • Call us if you get a mouth injury with braces. We will want to check for any injury to your mouth and damage to your braces or clear aligners. We may work with your dentist to repair mouth injuries, depending on the severity of the injury.
  • Talk to your doctor if you feel your medications or medical conditions are causing your gums to swell. They may be able to prescribe medications to combat it or change the medications you are taking. 

Can You Get Braces With Periodontal Disease?

We do not recommend getting braces until your periodontal disease is cleared up. Your teeth need to be loosened to move into their proper positions. However, periodontal disease can loosen the teeth too much, putting you at risk for tooth loss. 

We recommend you get your gum disease under control and on the path to healing before considering braces treatment. If you have chronic mild gum disease, getting braces treatment may still be possible. However, you will need to be monitored closely for any issues.

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Braces Treatment in Jonesboro, AR

White spots can be prevented by simply brushing and flossing properly several times a day every day. Good oral hygiene will help not only during your braces treatment but also before and after. 

If you don’t have braces and are ready to get started, schedule a consultation with Fergus Orthodontics for braces in Jonesboro, AR. We will lay out your treatment options and develop the best treatment plan for your dental health. We’re ready to guide you to a beautiful new smile!

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