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Dentistry/swollen gums and braces


Hi there, I am 17, and have had my braces on for a year now. I can't remember when it started, but my gums around just two teeth on my right side of my mouth are quite swollen. I have excellent oral hygiene- I brush (electric toothbrush as recommended by my dentist)2-3 times daily, floss every day, and use a little spiral brush to get in between the brackets every day. My dentist/hygienist, who is very thorough, said that she thinks there is glue or stuff from when they put the braces on under my gums and itís causing irritation, and that itís not gum decease because itís only around 2 teeth. Also, when the braces get tightened the gums around those 2 teeth tend to swell a little more than usual- is this just evidence that I have sensitive gums? How do I get rid of this problem? Am I doing something wrong?? What Iím most worried about is the swelling not going away when the braces come off! Please help with any advice! Thank you!

I have no doubt that the swelling will go away after the braces come off.  Having said that, you need to show this swelling to your orthodontist the next time you see him/her.

Sometimes the hormone changes you are going through makes your gums extra sensitive to any foreign object, including braces.  Sometimes excessive tooth movement may cause inflammation in the gums that becomes visible and can lead to infection.  This needs to be brought to the attention of your orthodontist.

Let me know what he/she says.


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Howard Finnk, D.D.S., P.A., CEO


I am a Family, Implant and Cosmetic dentist. I will answer questions on any aspect of dentistry and matters relating to the smile, gums, jaws and lower face. Member American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, and Atlantic Coast District Dental Association. I have served as District Council Member of Alpha Omega, as well as serving for one term as its President. I am also a member of The Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, and Mount Sinai Hospital Guild. I have served as a Volunteer for Project Dental Health and The Tri-County Dental Health Council.


Having attained over 30 years of clinical experience in private practice in Michigan, in 2001 I was re-certified by taking and passing the Florida State Dental Board Examination. After moving to Florida, I spent nearly 10 years re-honing my skills while working as an Associate Dentist for several large dental groups. In September, 2004, I was appointed Adjunct Clinical Professor at Nova University's College of Dental Medicine. I am certified in placement of Mini Dental Implants, and I am Director of The Florida Implant Center ( On March 1, 2010, at the age of 62, I began all over again by buying a dental practice near my home in the Fort Lauderdale area. As sole owner and Chief Dental Officer of the new Nob Hill Dental Center (, I can now carefully provide dental care to patients who care, all within a caring, joyful environment. Over my career lifetime, I have provided thousands of diagnoses, fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, periodontal treatments, TMJ therapies, partials, dentures and extractions, and dozens of implants for my patients. The only aspect of dentistry with which I have very little experience is orthodontics.

American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, Atlantic Coast District Dental Society, Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, Alpha Omega Alumni Association, and American Association of Dental Implantologists. Formerly, American Academy of General Dentistry, Michigan Dental Association, Macomb Dental Society, Detroit District Dental Society, Tri-County Dental Health Council (a charitable dental care organization)

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Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Psychology from Wayne State University Doctor of Dental Surgery from University of Detroit College of Dentistry Adjunct Clinical Professor, Special Needs Department, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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