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FAQ:  Orthodontics - Children - Teens



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Question:
Excess Gum Tissue after removing Ortho braces: I'm 18 and recently had my braces taken off finally.

After, even though I have very good cleaning habits, I noticed that between my upper teeth there have been large areas of gum tissue growing down between my teeth. I had a picture taken with some friends and noticed they didn't have this.

I am wondering what is a good way to help push these gums back up to where they should be? Will frequent flossing get the job done or should I try to scrape the growth off? ....Visitor from CO

Answer:
It is common to get some overgrowth of the gingival tissues during the course of orthodontic treatment.

It is difficult to remove all the plaque and bacteria that clings to the orthodontic brackets and wires. This plaque and bacteria inflame the gingival tissues causing them to swell and overgrow the brackets a bit. Some patients have no overgrowth of tissue and some patients have differing degrees of gingival hyperpasia.

Most times as you continue to brush and floss well each day, this excess tissue will recede back to normal over several months. For those orthodontic patients who's gums don't shrink back to normal may need a minor periodontal procedure called a gingivectomy, where the excess gum tissue is trimmed away.

Also certain medications like Dilantin which is given to prevent seizures will cause overgrowth of hyperplasia of the gum tissues. The a use of a soft tissue laser or a scalpel can easily remove this excess tissue.

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