Can Braces Cause Gum Recession?

Women with toothpain


If you or your child require orthodontic treatment, you will almost certainly be recommended to wear orthodontic braces. You have probably heard of braces and even seen people with them. They comprise of brackets and wires that are placed onto the teeth and adjusted in such a way that they will apply gentle force to the teeth to move them into a new and improved position. These adjustments will take place approximately every 8-12 weeks depending on your requirements and can only be carried out by your orthodontist.


Braces are a highly effective orthodontic treatment. Unfortunately, some studies have shown that there is a very small link between braces and gum recession that is putting some patients off of getting orthodontic braces. So, can braces really cause gum recession? The short answer is no. No evidence proves that wearing braces will cause your gums to recede. However, oral problems that occur if you don’t look after your teeth properly whilst wearing your braces could contribute towards conditions that develop that will then cause your gums to recede. There are also other causes of gum recession.



Causes of gum recession

Gum recession can occur for several different reasons. These include:


  • Persistent excessive brushing that irritates the gums.

  • Clenching/grinding of the teeth, which causes the bone to recede from the gums, causing the gums to then recede.

  • Smoking. Smoking is a key contributor to the development of gum damage.


However, the most common cause of gum recession is periodontal disease. Gum disease occurs when bacteria that accumulate on the teeth spread onto the gum tissue and cause an infection. Left untreated, the infection can cause damage to the sensitive gum tissue, causing it to pull away from the teeth. It can even damage the bone of the jaw and lead to tooth loss.


If you fail to brush your teeth properly when you are wearing braces, plaque can accumulate on the teeth and then move onto the gums, triggering the start of gum disease which could then lead to gum recession. However, if you brush and use interdental cleaning tools as directed by your orthodontist, your risk of experiencing gum disease will be significantly reduced.



The benefits of using braces to straighten your teeth

As you can see, there is no reason why you shouldn’t have braces to address your orthodontic issues. Here at Ironwood Dental, we strongly recommend this solution because of the benefits that braces can offer our patients. These include:

  • The ability to address all alignment issues, including correcting teeth that are crooked, overlapping, twisted and gapped.

  • Bite problems (the way that the teeth come together when the mouth is closed) can also be effectively corrected.

  • Treatment that is closely monitored by professionals which means that your teeth will receive regular care and attention.

  • An extremely effective solution that has been proven to deliver exceptional smile transformations.

  • In most instances, your entire smile can be straightened out in under 18 months.



If you would like to learn more about orthodontic braces, or if you still have some concerns about gum recession and would like our expert team to put your mind at rest, please contact us here at Ironwood Dental.