What can go wrong with braces?


There are a number of things that may go wrong with brace treatment since the teeth are part of a complex biological system involving the gums, jaw bones and facial muscles.

Examples include:

  • Issues with the gums including gum disease or gum recession if the teeth are pushed out of the jawbone if there is not enough space for all your teeth.
  • The way the teeth bite together can also be affected:
    • The teeth bite up into the gum of the roof of your mouth causing soreness.
    • The opposite can be true where the contact between your teeth is less, so reducing biting efficiency.
    • The top teeth can be pushed out to make them appear to ‘stick out’.

One of the most common problems that can occur is that teeth tend to return to where they came from once the treatment is finished – this is called ‘relapse’. This is often seen where there were spaces between teeth and very twisted teeth at the start. This particularly happens where the treatment is very quick or retainers are not provided appropriately (teeth can take at least a year for the jawbone and gums to settle).