Invisalign mouth sores can significantly impact the comfort and overall experience of undergoing Invisalign treatment.
Addressing these sores promptly is crucial to ensure a smooth and enjoyable orthodontic journey. Here are some possible causes of this and some remedies you can try to alleviate the discomfort and achieve optimal results from your Invisalign treatment.
Causes of Invisalign Mouth Sores
1. Discomfort during the initial stages of treatment
During the initial stages of Invisalign treatment, patients commonly experience temporary sensitivity and pain. This discomfort is primarily due to the mouth adjusting to the presence of the aligner trays.
Additionally, as your teeth gradually shift, the aligner trays exert pressure on the teeth and surrounding tissues, which can cause mild soreness or sensitivity, particularly when switching to a new set of aligners. Fortunately, these discomforts are temporary and tend to subside as the mouth adapts.
- Patience is key during the initial stages of Invisalign treatment. With time, the mouth becomes accustomed to the aligners, and the discomfort diminishes.
- Maintaining proper oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing, flossing, and mouthwash use, as well as cleaning your Invisalign aligners properly, also helps to promote oral health and minimize any associated irritations.
2. Ill-fitting aligners
Ill-fitting aligners are a common cause of mouth sores during Invisalign treatment. When the aligner trays do not fit properly, they can exert excessive pressure on the soft tissues of the mouth, leading to discomfort and pain.
Poorly fitting trays can also rub against your gums, cheeks, and tongue, resulting in painful sores and ulcers.
- Although you will change your aligner trays in two weeks, you may still need to consult with your orthodontist so they can evaluate the fit and make necessary adjustments in the next set of aligners to ensure optimal comfort and alignment throughout the treatment.
3. Sharp edges and excess molding
Another factor contributing to Invisalign mouth sores is the presence of sharp edges or excess molding on the aligner trays. These irregularities can scrape or cut the delicate tissues inside your mouth, causing discomfort and irritation.
- Identifying and carefully trimming any sharp areas on the aligner trays can minimize the risk of mouth sores. Smooth edges eliminate potential points of contact that may otherwise cause friction and lead to discomfort.
- In cases where trimming alone is not sufficient, dental wax can be applied to the sharp edges or rough spots. This wax acts as a protective barrier, reducing the direct contact and friction between the trays and the delicate oral tissues. It is important to ensure proper application and reapplication of the dental wax as needed throughout the day to maintain its effectiveness. By keeping the wax in place, the risk of further irritation and discomfort can be minimized.
4. Inadequate dental hygiene
Neglecting proper oral care practices can exacerbate the occurrence of mouth sores during Invisalign treatment, which in turn increases the risk of plaque buildup, gum inflammation, oral ulcers, and overall oral discomfort. When aligner trays come into contact with inflamed or irritated gum tissue, it can intensify the discomfort and prolong the healing process.
- Maintaining a consistent oral hygiene routine is vital for preventing mouth sores. Patients should follow the recommendations of their dental professional regarding deep cleaning their aligners and proper brushing techniques, regular flossing, and the use of mouthwash. These practices help eliminate plaque, reduce gum inflammation, and create a healthier environment within the mouth.
5. Allergic reactions
In rare cases, Invisalign patients may have an allergic reaction to the materials used in the aligner trays, which can cause oral discomfort and sores.
If you suspect you may be experiencing an allergic reaction to Invisalign aligners, it is crucial to consult with your dentist or orthodontist. They can assess the situation and provide appropriate guidance, including:
- Allergy testing
- Switching aligner materials
- Adjusting the cleaning routine if allergic reactions are triggered by cleaning agents used to maintain the aligners.
Solutions for Invisalign Mouth Sores
To alleviate Invisalign mouth sores caused by sharp edges on the aligner trays, the following steps should be taken:
a. Rinsing with saltwater or peroxide-based mouthwash
Saltwater rinses help inhibit bacteria and promote healing of mouth sores.
- Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in warm water, swish the solution in your mouth, and spit it out.
- Alternatively, a peroxide-based mouthwash can help numb the pain while disinfecting any cuts on the tongue caused by the aligners.
b. Ice therapy
Sucking on ice cubes can provide temporary numbing relief for mouth sores. It can be particularly useful when you’re unable to perform other remedies and need quick relief.
c. Avoiding irritating foods
Spicy foods and acidic fruits can exacerbate mouth sores caused by Invisalign trays.
- Opt for soft, bland foods that are easy to swallow, such as creamy soups or yogurt.
- Cutting food into smaller pieces or mashing and pureeing them can make them easier to consume without aggravating the sores.
d. Identifying and carefully trimming sharp areas
Thoroughly inspect the aligner trays to identify any sharp edges or rough spots.
- Using a pair of clean, small scissors or nail clippers, carefully trim these sharp areas.
- Exercise caution and ensure a smooth finish to prevent further irritation
e. Using dental wax
You can also apply dental wax to act as a cushion, reducing friction and providing a protective barrier between the trays and the delicate tissues inside the mouth.
- Take a small amount of dental wax and soften it by rolling it between the fingers
- Apply the softened wax over the sharp edges or rough areas of the aligner trays
- Reapply the wax as needed throughout the day to maintain its effectiveness and minimize the risk of further irritation and discomfort.
It is important to follow the instructions provided by the dental professional regarding the application or alternatives to dental wax.
f. Practicing good oral hygiene
Maintaining proper oral hygiene is essential to prevent and alleviate Invisalign mouth sores:
- Brush your teeth thoroughly at least twice a day, using a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss daily to remove food particles and plaque from between the teeth and along the gumline.
- Additionally, rinse your mouth with a dentist-recommended, alcohol-free mouthwash to further reduce the risk of irritation and maintain oral health.
g. Clean your Invisalign aligner trays properly
In addition to regular oral hygiene practices, it is advisable to rinse the aligner trays with lukewarm water before wearing them. This helps remove any debris or bacteria that may have accumulated. Keeping both the teeth and aligner trays clean contributes to a healthier oral environment and reduces the likelihood of mouth sores.
When to Seek Professional Help
While Invisalign mouth sores often improve with self-care and time, certain situations may warrant professional assistance:
Persistent pain or discomfort
If the mouth sores do not improve or become increasingly painful over time, it is recommended to consult a dentist or orthodontist for evaluation. They can assess the situation, provide appropriate guidance, and make any necessary adjustments to ensure patient comfort.
Severe irritation or bleeding
If the mouth sores result in severe irritation or bleeding, it is important to seek immediate professional assistance. These symptoms may indicate underlying issues that require prompt attention to prevent further complications.
Signs of infection
Typically, minor injuries from Invisalign trays do not require emergency medical attention. However, if you experience symptoms of infection, such as increased swelling, pus drainage, or a fever, it is important to contact your dentist or physician for assistance. They can evaluate the situation and provide appropriate treatment if needed.
Addressing Invisalign mouth sores is crucial for a comfortable and successful orthodontic journey. Remember, it’s essential to consult with your dentist or orthodontist if you experience persistent or severe mouth sores. They can assess your specific situation and provide personalized guidance to ensure your comfort throughout the Invisalign treatment process.