Post invisalign swelling gum issue - need help

Discussions about treatment with invisible braces that use clear aligners, such as Invisalign, OrthoClear, the Red White and Blue system, etc.

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Post invisalign swelling gum issue - need help

#1 Post by djrobsd »

So, I have an interesting story. I was fairly active on here years ago while receiving my Invisalign treatment. I had occasional issues with pain during treatment, like most people do, but rarely had any issues with my gums themselves except when I would accidentally improperly sit a tray and pinch the gum. Once the treatment was done, I was mostly satisfied with the results. The gap did not completely close on my front teeth, but the orthodontist kind of explained that to me on my ClinCheck. My retainer was made (my dentist made me a combo bite-guard/retainer, so it was a little larger and thicker then the invisalign) and on my merry way I went. Unfortunately, I started having some issues with my gums when wearing the retainer at night. Oddly, I didn't seem to have that issue during treatment. Essentially in my upper right quad and lower right quad, occasionally the retainer would "pinch" the gum activating a nightmare of gum inflammation that would actually swell up so big it looked ugly and caused tremendous pain. In fact in my upper right near my crown, where it most frequently would swell up, it would also cause a headache in the back of my right eye, probably because the swelling was pinching some nerve.

Granted the swelling was not constant, it would go away after 7-10 days, sometimes faster if I did warm saltwater rinses. Then I might not have another episode for a couple months. I finally got tired of this, so after about a year and a half on the retainer, I STOPPED wearing the retainer. Fast forward a couple years, I still get 3-4x a year that swelling, usually in the same area of my gum which causes discomfort and headaches. I am now starting to think that maybe the retainer didn't cause it, but now it's too late, my teeth have receded back to pre-Invisalign positions, and that 5 grand is now out the window.. Except I actually kept all my trays so I'm thinking I could sanitize them all real good, and start over.

But, before I start over, I believe it's important to address the elephant in the room which is the gum swelling. In the past couple months, the gum has only been "mildly" swelling, which essentially means that it doesn't swell so big that it turns from pink to red, and it doesn't pop out in between my teeth like a serious outbreak does. However, now with the micro-swelling it is causing discomfort and headaches more frequently and it's driving me nuts.

My regular dentist (not the one who did the Invisalign, although he too is certified to do Invisalign) is puzzled. When the swelling goes away, that pocket is only a 3 or a 4 at worst, so it doesn't look like anything that needs gum surgery. He also does LINAP (the laser gum treatment) and he said that MIGHT help, but no guarantees. I also talked to my doctor about this. He prescribed valtrex (herpes medication) thinking it might be a viral infection, but taking the valtrex did not seem to decrease the healing time or make things better, so I went off that (plus it would cause these weird headaches, side effects of that stuff are NOT good!) I'm trying to figure out how I can fix this swelling issue, has anyone heard of something like this? I'm alergic to ibuprofen so I can't take that when it happens. Tylenol gets rid of the headache, but doesn't stop the pain in the gum itself.

Would love to hear if anyone has had issues with swelling in normally healthy gums and how you resolved it.

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