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It’s common to have sore, tender, and sensitive teeth after you have adjusted your braces. In fact, it’s a good sign because it means your teeth are moving. This doesn’t make it any less inconvenient, though, right? Well, to help you understand a little more about why your teeth are sore, our orthodontist, Dr. Joseph Wilson, is happy to share some details with you.

Your adjustment appointments are meant to apply new pressure to the teeth by tightening the appliance. When the braces are tightened, the pressure makes the tooth roots swell; this is because the force pushes or pulls the teeth and cuts off the blood circulation to the teeth’s tissues. When this happens, lactic acid builds up, which is a natural response. Lactic acid is the same acid that forms when you have sore muscles. This response creates a “Charlie horse” feeling near the teeth, which results in the discomfort.

The pain will subside within 24 to 48 hours because the underlying jawbone adjusts to the pressure. It does so by dissolving and then remodeling itself. As it does this, it relieves the pressure and makes you feel better. It also supports the tooth in its new position. If the tooth is severely misaligned, this process will be repeated until all of the pressure is gone.

Now, remember: The discomfort should disappear after a couple days. To relieve the pain, please take over-the-counter pain medication and use your teeth often. Make sure to also have a soft-foods diet. For more information and details about why your teeth hurt when you have braces in Yuma, Arizona, please reach out to Yuma Orthodontics, Inc. at (928) 343-9559 at your earliest convenience.