Braces, the orthodontic appliances placed on the teeth to straighten and align them, have been credited with transforming people’s smiles, correcting functional defects of the teeth and jaw, and even giving people a new lease on life. Although braces are FDA-approved devices and are tolerated well by most people who wear them, these devices are not without potential side effects and complications.
Wearing braces involves introducing many foreign objects and substances into the oral cavity such as metal, ceramic, rubber, enamel conditioners, primer solutions, and orthodontic glue. There is always the risk of allergic reaction to any one of these substances. It is important for people getting braces to report any known allergies to their orthodontist.
Damage to teeth roots
In some cases, braces can cause root resorption by putting pressure on the surface of the root. Root resorption is the phenomenon whereby the roots of a tooth or several teeth erode. A tooth without roots is considered a dead tooth and becomes loose; such a tooth almost always ends up needing to be extracted. It is not known why resorption occurs in some people and not in others.
The continual pressure exerted by braces on the teeth can cause tooth and jaw pain that ranges from mild to distressing. The pain is most noticeable when the braces are first put on and each time the brackets are tightened. The pain and tenderness caused by braces can interfere with eating and even disrupt sleeping patterns. Options for addressing braces-induced pain are taking painkillers and using an oral analgesic on the gums.
Cuts and sores
It is not uncommon for braces to cause some degree of mouth irritation. The irritation maybe the result chemical changes inside the month in response to the introduction of a foreign object. Cuts and sores may also arise if the edges of the brackets or a loose wire scrape against the mouth lining. Putting dental wax over brackets or wire edges is recommended to relieve or prevent mouth irritation.
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