Sunday, April 13, 2008

swollen gums

So I'm a bit of a compulsive teeth brusher. Many fellow bloggers have admitted to letting things slide a bit after having braces for a while, but I am not one of them yet. I brush in the morning. I brush in the afternoon after lunch. I usually brush after dinner, but always take a long, long brushing and flossing at night before bed with the fluoride paste and the million little brushes. Every time something enters my mouth I make sure to at least rinse, I often brush.

Another side note for the upcoming question: I have swollen gums. I am a mouth breather at night, and the orthodontist says that makes my gums worse. My gums on my lower teeth used to be incredibly swollen because there were parts of them I couldn't get to with a brush or floss, but after the three months or so of braces, they have become healthy and pretty much normal.

My top teeth, however (here comes the question!), seem to be doing terribly with my new braces. Despite the normal brushing/ flossing routine that whipped my lower gums into shape from the beginning, the top gums keep getting worse and worse. In fact, there is one spot where my gums are approaching the bracket on my tooth, and will probably encroach the tooth by tomorrow or Tuesday.

Should I call the orthodontist for this? I mean, I'm doing ALL OF THE RIGHT THINGS. I'm not some 12 year old who doesn't brush or floss. I'm not eating things I'm not supposed to eat (except corn chips, but I make sure to break them into really really small pieces). It should be getting better, at least in my non-professional-worried-about-everything opinion.

I'm worried that stuff is going to get trapped underneath the gums and over the bracket, or that I could develop an infection or something. I could brush more, or floss more, but that seems like it might make things worse....

What do you guys think? Should I call the orthodontist, or just keep on keepin' on?

PS. Thanks for all of the support with the new upper braces, by the way. They feel much more natural, they don't hurt very much, and my lips feel like they're starting to fit over them nicely. You guys are amazing :)


Kiwikaren said...

I think you should call your ortho and ask for advice. Gums that are healthy, do not swell.

Over brushing is not good either, as it can damage your gums and result in them receding. Over brushing is also not good for the surface of your teeth. It's important to brush gently with a small soft brush.

Some people do find their gums show minor swelling when teeth are moving ... and hopefully this is what's happening to your uppers, but just to be safe ... please let your ortho know.

Good luck!

Michelle said...

Yeah, I would probably call too. Can't hurt. I would also start rinsing with warm salt water. Any time I have an irritation, that seems to help alot.
Good luck!

nabukay said...

i had an infection a few months back because i had gotten so much more metal in my mouth and was not thorough enough with my brushing. i brush twice a day and spend alot of time on brushing. but, in affition to that i go for a proper tooth cleaning to my dentist every 3 months or so. if your gums are swollen it could be an infection cos my gums were terrible. please call your ortho, you aren't supposed to be in this pain.

laura said...

Ditto on what the others said. No sense suffering with something that the ortho can probably fix up. I brush several times a day too, and spend about 20 mins each morning flossing and using that little mini brush thingie, but even the dental hygenist admitted she couldn't get all the plaque out of the crevices in these things. I bet the balance of flora in our mouths changes when we get braces on, no matter how much cleaning we do, and that could do weird things to our gums. Yay biology.

I'm kinda late reading this - let us know how it went.

ingrid said...

are your gums better?