Your toothbrush is the best dental tool that you have at home to prevent oral health complications, like tooth decay and gum disease. While it is very beneficial, it has recently become the center of a large problem—receding gum lines. Your dentist in Englewood has likely seen an increase in overbrushing in an attempt to help combat oral health issues. Although the efforts may have good intentions behind them, it will cause damage to the teeth and gums.
Gum disease is a common condition that affects nearly half of adults in the Unites States. While it is often caused by poor dental hygiene, there is another factor leading to the infection—overbrushing. Brushing too hard or using a toothbrush that does not have soft bristles causes the wearing way of the gum tissue. As the gum line starts to recede, it causes the roots of the teeth to become exposed. This can cause decay at the roots, allowing bacteria to become trapped, which increases your risk for gum disease.
The Medical College of Georgia School of Dentistry currently estimates as much as 24 million people each year suffer from what is known as “toothbrush disease.” This occurs when the gum tissue recedes and the root surfaces of the teeth become exposed from overbrushing. Not only does this lead to gum disease, but also hypersensitivity of the teeth.
In addition, brushing to hard also erodes the enamel. This can increase the risk for tooth decay and sensitivity as the hard-outer layer of the teeth can no longer protect the dentin from becoming exposed.
To protect your gums and your enamel, the first step involves choosing the right toothbrush. Although many tend to believe that those with hard bristles clean better, they cause more harm than do any good. It is best to choose one that has soft nylon bristles.
Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and clean all surfaces of your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day. Use caution when cleaning around the gum line. You want to clean the area well, but avoid causing damage to the gum tissue.
If you are still concerned about brushing too hard, many electric toothbrushes feature a pressure technology to alert you when you are pushing too hard. This may be a better option for you to ensure that you are not causing damage to the teeth or gums.
If you need help determining the best dental products, you can discuss your options with your dentist at your next preventive appointment.
Tarpon Shores Dental is committed to creating healthy, beautiful smiles. With a strong emphasis on restorative dentistry, we can rehabilitate the health of the teeth and gums using the most advanced technology and dental methods. If you suspect that your oral health has become damaged from overbrushing, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.