Dentist explains the causes, countermeasures, and treatment of gum lowering in orthodontics!

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Last updated August 31, 2022

Orthodontic treatment involves many changes in the mouth, such as the movement of teeth by applying force to the teeth and the wearing of mechanical devices in the mouth.

One of these changes is the lowering of the gums during orthodontic treatment.

Why is it that the gingiva drops during orthodontic treatment?

Why does orthodontic treatment cause gingival recession?

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Lack of care of the mouth during the orthodontic period

Stains build up on the teeth due to lack of care in the mouth, and the gums become inflamed.

Prolonged inflammation destroys the cells and collagen in the gingiva, causing it to recede.

Lack of care of orthodontic appliances

Orthodontic treatment always involves the use of devices, no matter how good the treatment chosen.

As the device is used, stains will adhere to it, and if it is not cared for properly, the stains on the device will cause inflammation of the gums, which will lead to gum recession.

Excessive corrective force

Orthodontic treatment applies force to the teeth to move them.

Forces are transmitted to the bone that supports the teeth, and a metabolic process of bone resorption and regeneration occurs.

If too much force is applied to the tooth, the bone supporting the tooth may not regenerate properly.

If the bone supporting the teeth does not regenerate properly, the gingiva may drop in tandem.

Movement of teeth to areas with thin bones

When force is applied to thin tooth-supporting bone, bone metabolism may not be properly regenerated.

Just as when excessive force is applied to the teeth, if the bone supporting the teeth fails to regenerate, the gums may drop in tandem.

Disadvantages of orthodontic gingival recession

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Appearance issues

When the gums recede, the teeth appear longer, which causes appearance problems.

If there is no recession outside of the receding gum area, it will be even more noticeable.

get a cavity

The tooth surface is protected by a hard layer of enamel.

This hard layer protects it from the acid produced by bacteria.

Areas of the tooth where the gum has receded are more prone to decay because the root portion of the tooth, where enamel does not exist, is exposed.

Hypersensitivity symptoms.

Teeth with receding gums have no enamel protection, so when they are irritated by cold or warm foods, etc., the transmitter is easily transmitted to the nerves.

This can lead to hypersensitivity symptoms.

Teeth wobble

Gingival recession often means that the bone backing the gums is also less than normal.

In other words, the teeth may become wobbly because the bone supporting the teeth is reduced.

What to do if you feel your gums have dropped due to orthodontics

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Take good care of your mouth.

First, it is important to take care of the inflamed gums by taking good care of them.

Inflammation can prevent gingival recession.

During orthodontic treatment, it may be difficult to clean the mouth with regular cleaning appliances.

In such cases, we recommend the use of cleaning aids specifically designed for use during orthodontic treatment.

Take good care of your orthodontic appliances.

Taking care of your orthodontic appliances is just as important as taking care of your mouth.

If you have any concerns about care, we recommend that you consult your dentist or dental hygienist.

In addition to mechanical cleaning, chemical cleaning is also important to keep equipment clean.

Over-the-counter cleaners are sufficient for this purpose, but many cleaners, especially those sold in dental offices, are highly concentrated and contain many bactericidal ingredients.

Consult your dentist

In any case, we recommend consulting a dentist first.

The causes of gingival recession are so varied that it is safe to avoid assuming this for yourself.

How to prevent gingival recession

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Select a correction method that is less forceful.

Compared to conventional wire braces, Invisalign and other mouthpiece braces are considered to apply orthodontic force to the teeth relatively slowly.

Of course, not all dental irregularities are amenable to mouthpiece orthodontics, but if gingival recession is a concern, it is safer to choose an orthodontic appliance that applies force as slowly as possible.

Have a CT scan taken beforehand.

It is also important to take CT scans prior to orthodontic treatment to confirm the thickness of the bone of the teeth to be moved and the thickness of the bone at the destination of the teeth to be moved. This also allows us to avoid applying force to areas where the bone is thin.

How to treat a gum drop

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Once the gums have receded, they will not naturally return to normal.

However, it can be surgically reversed.

Not all dentists can provide this service, so it is recommended that you consult with your family dentist. There are two treatment options

free gingival transplantation

This method involves cutting away the hard gum on the back side of the upper jaw and grafting it to the area where the gum has fallen.

It is a useful method, but because it is a surgical procedure, pain and swelling may occur at the surgical site.

Gingival valve lateralization

This is a method of grafting the gum of a tooth adjacent to a tooth that has lost its gingiva in a completely uncut fashion.

It is applicable to gingival recession limited to one area.


There are a wide variety of causes of gum lowering during orthodontic treatment. It is almost impossible to determine the cause on your own, so consult your dentist if you experience gum lowering.

Once the gingiva has receded, it will not naturally return to its original position, but it can be treated surgically.

imageWritten by dentist/issy

After graduating from the National School of Dentistry, he trained at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University Dental Hospital, and is currently working in general and orthodontic dentistry.

Member of the Japanese Society of Oral Implantology


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