Dental implants can make a smile look fabulous – I know I have them. However, if you are just thinking about getting them, you may have a lot of questions. You may be wondering how smoking affects implants, whether or not wine will stain them, if they can be whitened or other concerns. I also know from experience that it can be intimidating to ask some of these questions to your dentist. In my dental implant blog, I am going to answer the questions that can be hard to ask. I hope you find the info you need in this blog and that it guides you to the right decision about dental implants. Thanks for reading!
Dental braces can be a little uncomfortable at first. It's a mistake to think that you must calmly live with this discomfort, and it's really not a case of no pain, no gain. But why do braces make your teeth uncomfortable? And how should you best manage this discomfort?
Loss of Bone Tissue
Braces apply pressure to your teeth. Sufficient pressure is needed to initiate bone remodelling. This is a natural process, although your braces essentially manipulate your jaw into jump-starting the remodelling. The bone tissue at the bases of your teeth comes under pressure (as created by your braces). This creates some loss of bone tissue (as it's pushed out of the way), but new bone tissue is simultaneously formed to align with the new position of the teeth. This is an ongoing process, continuing until your teeth have achieved the intended alignment (and you will generally need to wear a retainer to maintain this new alignment). So that's how braces work, but why is this uncomfortable?
Reduced Blood Flow
As you might have guessed, your discomfort is caused by the pressure that your braces are applying to your teeth. While the surfaces of your teeth cannot register discomfort (or any sensation at all), the nerves around the tooth very much can. The pressure of the braces results in reduced blood flow to the tooth's connective tissues. Your body regards this as a warning sign of an injury, leading to inflammation of these tissues. This is what is causing your discomfort.
Adapting to Braces
Your discomfort shouldn't be an ongoing issue. Your body will adapt to the consistent pressure of the braces to the point where you will only feel brief, minor discomfort when your braces are adjusted by your orthodontist. Although new braces might feel uncomfortable, this will quickly subside. Your discomfort can be managed with over-the-counter pain relief. Some people will benefit from a topical numbing agent to soothe their gums (ask your orthodontist for a recommendation).
Pain relief is only a temporary solution for the discomfort caused by new braces, but this is not an issue, as the problem itself is only temporary. Remember that your teeth need a bit of time to become familiar with your braces, and this lack of familiarity is what is stimulating your pain responses. Fortunately, it won't last, although you should contact your orthodontist if you have any specific concerns.