Gum Recession and Braces

As braces become increasingly popular in adult patients, orthodontists are faced with new causes for concern to watch for before proceeding with a patient’s orthodontic treatment. One common cause for concern is gum recession, which is common in adults over 40. Since research has shown a link between gum recession and adult braces, it is important to know the effects of gum recession and what to look for before starting your orthodontic treatment.

First Thing’s First

Have your dentist be sure your gums are clear of any noticeable damage and are in good shape before you are referred to an orthodontist. Not only does this prevent permanent damage to your mouth, it helps the process of your orthodontic treatment.

Facts About Receding Gums

Gum recession occurs when the gums recede and can’t support the teeth well. While it is less common than gum disease, it is something that dentists and orthodontists see in patients. Gum recession becomes an issue when the tooth root becomes exposed. With the exposure, tooth sensitivity and pain increase and patients find consumption of hot and cold food products painfully impossible. Braces have been known to cause localized recession, especially in adult patients. Additionally, prolonged irritation from braces near the gum line or trapped food particles can lead to more problems with recession. Finally, as braces move the teeth into proper positioning, gums can detach from the base of the tooth and cause a visible recession.

What to Do

If you notice gum recession, contact your dentist or orthodontist to schedule an appointment. Gum recession is most common and likely to occur around your front teeth. Medications are generally prescribed for instant relief. Because gum recession can be costly and painful, often leading to gum disease, maintaining the best oral hygiene is the most efficient way to combat this problem. In term of braces, if you are currently dealing with gum recession, talk to your orthodontist about how Invisalign can be a better option for your treatment.