Am I Brushing My Teeth Too Hard?
Taking good care of your oral hygiene should always be a top priority. Not only that it improves our smile, but it also boosts our confidence. It is ideal to brush our teeth after every meal, or at least twice a day, and before bedtime. However, over-vigorous brushing may cause adverse effects not only to your teeth but your gums as well. Vigorously brushing your teeth too hard may cause damage to your teeth and gums. You may eventually develop receding gums, and sensitive teeth in the process. You can click on this link www.mintedentalcare.com.au to learn more about these issues.
Disadvantages of Brushing your Teeth Too Hard
There are several negative effects that overbrushing of your teeth may lead to. Dentists typically recommend regular brushing, but overdoing it may cause harm instead of improvement. So, here are the possible problems and complications of brushing teeth too hard in an overly aggressive method:
Gum recession also known as Gingival recession – Occurs when the rim of the gum tissues surrounding the teeth gradually wears away, leaving your teeth, or the roots of your teeth exposed. This process creates a gap between your teeth and gums that are left vulnerable to the build-up of bacteria. If left untreated, it may advance to further complications that may lead to various gum diseases and tooth loss. Receding gums is a common condition for adults over the age of 40. However, it may also occur in younger people. There are also a lot of possible causes of receding gums, such as poor oral hygiene, lack of vitamin C, or sometimes it’s hereditary, but overbrushing is one of the most common factors.
Once the gum recession starts to progress, there is an increased chance of developing tooth decay and other health problems, leaving your teeth, and gums vulnerable to gum disease. The most important note to keep in mind is that on the onset of gum recession, there is no way for your gums to regenerate. Once they recede, they do not grow back to its original form. In some cases, it could lead to periodontal disease that may require surgery.
Symptoms and Signs
- Loose tooth
- Dentin hypersensitivity or Sensitive teeth
- Visible or exposed tooth roots
- Gaps begin to widen
- A tooth that may appear longer than the others
Treatment and Management
A mild case of receding gums can be treated effectively by your dentist by deep cleaning. The process includes the removal of accumulated plaque, and tartar from your teeth, down to the affected gum line. The goal is to thoroughly clean the exposed area from the surface down to the roots so that the exposure to bacteria is lessened. In some cases, your dentist may prescribe Antibiotics to fully exterminate other bacteria within the gums.
Proper brushing techniques and routine dentist visits are the key factors of ineffective management.
Dentin Hypersensitivity or Sensitive Teeth
Dentin hypersensitivity – Is a short, but sharp dental pain that you experience whenever you have a cold or hot beverage. Other factors may aggravate the tooth, like when you eat sweet or sour food, sometimes even exposure to cold air. Like receding gums, there are also a lot of possible causes of teeth sensitivity. Although there are many controversial theories about how it occurs, there is only one common sensation: A sudden sharp pain that lasts briefly, and is triggered usually by the cold. Another possibility is receding gums because of over-aggressive brushing. This is probably the most common factor aside from poor dental hygiene.
As mentioned earlier, receding gums exposes the roots of your teeth, meaning, they are near the surface whenever you consume food that may trigger the effect. People with sensitive teeth feel discomfort in everyday activities and may have a hard time treating the condition without a dentist’s intervention. For example, whitening toothpaste may contain ingredients that could increase the level of sensitivity.
Symptoms and Signs
- External Stimulus – Thermal factors such as cold, and hot drinks.
- Cool air exposure
- Electric pulp testers
- Dental probe
- Sweet or sour food
- Acids – gastric
Treatment and Management
Technically there is no established method in treating sensitive teeth, even in modern dentistry. However, your dentist has the appropriate knowledge on how to help relieve the pain. Different methods have varying degrees of efficiency. Some dentists may prescribe medicines, or recommend toothpaste that contains ingredients to reinforce your teeth. Some mouthwashes are scientifically enhanced to produce the desired effect. Some chewing gums are also suggested to help desensitize the affected area.
Food that is high in acid also increases the risk of developing sensitive teeth. A vigorous brushing after eating acidic food will greatly affect the development of sensitive teeth. Your dentist may advise you to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth, after consuming food that is high in acid. The same can be said about sweets.
Food that can help with the management of sensitive teeth includes milk, cheese, plain yogurt, and food that are rich in fiber, and vegetables. The purpose of eating these foods is to help maintain the appropriate amount of moist in your mouth to prevent acid, and bacteria to accumulate in your teeth and gums. Advanced cases may require surgery to save your gums and teeth. The procedure involves deep cleaning of the gums to get rid of the bacteria. This is called Flap Surgery. Another method involves the attempt to revive the infected gums or bones. This procedure is called grafting. An artificial piece of bone or tissue is used to stimulate the regeneration of the gums, however, without a routine checkup, this method may be ineffective.
Mild cases can be treated by:
- Antiseptic chip
- Antibiotic gel
- Antimicrobial toothpaste and mouthwash
- Enzyme suppressants
- Oral Antibiotics
Recommended Brushing Technique
Proper brushing technique may sound too simple but is very effective. Most people are under the impression that a vigorous brushing technique is the most effective way of cleaning your teeth. That, together with a toothbrush that has hard bristles is a popular method used by many all over the world. However, contrary to the popular belief, dentists recommend a toothbrush with soft bristles and gentle brushing. And, as for the proper brushing technique, here are the recommended steps:
- Position your toothbrush in a 45-degree angle towards your teeth
- Use a minimum amount of toothpaste
- Apply light pressure and circular motion with your strokes
- Make sure you brush on all your teeth’s surface for chewing
- Brush your tongue thoroughly
- Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash
The enamel of our teeth is heavily affected by brushing vigorously. Continuous overbrushing, especially with hard bristled toothbrush will wear the tooth down because of too much abrasion. Brushing teeth too hard is not always beneficial.
The treatment, and management of receding gums, and sensitive teeth, will only be effective with the help of proper brushing techniques. If followed correctly, this could have a lasting effect that is beneficial to your oral hygiene. Although there is no standard method that is acknowledged in the medical field, the best way to ensure your oral health’s wellness is by visiting your dentist regularly. Prevention is always better than a cure. However, in cases that we could not avoid, proper dental care, and management are the solutions. Brushing teeth too hard is not.