It is well known that brushing your teeth regularly is the key to maintaining healthy teeth, but dentists have warned patients not to overdo it. “Toothbrush abrasion” is a condition that comes from over-brushing, and can lead to receding gums and sensitive teeth.
Applying too much pressure when you brush not only wears down the enamel of your teeth, but can also damage the gums which can lead to it receding and exposing the vulnerable root area. Not only do receding gums make your teeth look longer, but it can also lead to gum disease and cavities on the roots of the teeth. Treatments such as composite fillings, root canals or an extraction may become unavoidable if you continue to brush your teeth aggressively.
Patients who are at the greatest risk of tooth and gum damage from over-brushing are those who brush with a hard-bristled brush, or those who brush more than three times a day. You don’t actually need to brush harshly to remove plaque! In order to clean your teeth effectively, it is more productive to brush thoroughly rather than brushing harder.
Changing your brushing habits is the key in preventing toothbrush abrasion from getting worse. Don’t worry though, because the abrasion can be repaired by our dentists using a special bonding material. A visit with our dental hygienists will also help clarify how often and how hard you should be brushing.
Key points to take away:
- Dentists recommend brushing 3 times a day with a soft toothbrush.
- Toothbrush abrasion will make your gums recede, which can give you dental problems later.
- Make the switch to a soft toothbrush if you are currently using a hard one.
- If the bristles of your toothbrush looks squashed, you are brushing too hard.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, we encourage you to discuss these matters with an appropriately qualified health practitioner.