Can Orthodontics Cause Gum Recession?

Can Orthodontics Cause Gum Recession?

Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that deals with the correction of teeth and jaw alignment. Orthodontic treatment can help improve the function and appearance of teeth, but there are concerns about whether it can cause gum recession. The short answer is that orthodontics doesn’t cause gum recession, but poor oral hygiene while having orthodontic work done can lead to this condition. Thankfully, there are simple and effective ways to avoid gum recession, whether you’re having orthodontic work done or not. 

Let’s take a closer look at gum recession, how it happens, and what you can do to prevent it.

What is Gum Recession?

Gum recession is a condition where the gum tissue around the teeth pulls back, exposing the roots and nerve endings of the teeth. If left untreated, this can lead to sensitivity, pain, infection, and even tooth loss. Gum recession is a common problem that affects many people. In fact, according to many studies done over the years, approximately 50 percent of people have some form of gum recession. 

Can Orthodontics Cause Gum Recession?

Orthodontic treatment involves moving teeth into the correct position using various appliances such as braces or aligners. The pressure applied to the teeth during orthodontic treatment can cause the gums to recede, but this is not always the case, nor is it a guarantee. 

Gum recession can occur during orthodontic treatment for various reasons, such as:

  • Poor oral hygiene: When the teeth and gums are not cleaned adequately during orthodontic treatment, such as braces, bacteria can build up and cause gum disease, leading to gum recession.
  • Tooth position: In some cases, the position of the teeth can cause gum recession, even without orthodontic treatment. Orthodontic treatment can exacerbate the problem if the teeth are already in a position that makes gum recession more likely.
  • Orthodontic appliance: The type of orthodontic appliance used can also contribute to gum recession. Traditional metal braces are more likely to cause gum recession than clear aligners. This is because conventional braces make cleaning the teeth and gums more challenging. 

Preventing Gum Recession During Orthodontic Treatment

Although gum recession can occur during orthodontic treatment, the treatments are not the primary cause. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to prevent it. 

Here are some tips to help prevent gum recession during orthodontic treatment:

  • Maintain good oral hygiene: Brush and floss your teeth regularly to remove bacteria and prevent gum disease.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush: A soft-bristled toothbrush can help prevent gum irritation and recession.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste: Fluoride toothpaste can help strengthen the teeth and prevent decay, which can contribute to gum recession.
  • Regular dental check-ups: Regular dental check-ups can help detect and treat gum disease and prevent gum recession.


Orthodontic treatment can cause gum recession, but it’s not a common occurrence nor entirely the orthodontic treatment’s fault. Poor oral hygiene, tooth position, and the type of orthodontic appliance used can contribute to gum recession during orthodontic treatment, but the main cause is poor oral hygiene while getting orthodontic work done. However, by maintaining good oral hygiene, using a soft-bristled toothbrush, using fluoride toothpaste, and having regular dental check-ups, you can help prevent gum recession during orthodontic treatment. 

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