Can You Over Brush Teeth?
Every time you visit, your dentist probably asks you about your toothbrushing. They generally reinforce that you need to brush your teeth twice per day. Maybe you already follow this rule. Or maybe you even brush more often like after every meal. But did you know that you can over brush teeth and that overbrushing can damage your teeth and gums? Yes, when it comes to brushing, there can be too much of a good thing.
Damage When You Over Brush Teeth
Overbrushing teeth is not just brushing them too often. It is also an issue of how you use your toothbrush each time. Using too much pressure or vigor can actually cause dental problems. These problems include dental abrasion, gum recession and tooth sensitivity.
Dental abrasion is a process that works much like rubbing sandpaper on your teeth. By using too much pressure or vigor when brushing, you are actually damaging the tooth structure. What you think is a good brushing practice to get your teeth super clean can be doing some harm. This method when you over brush teeth wears away your tooth enamel, then damages deeper parts of your teeth, the soft dentin and cementum.
You can even see abrasion in your mouth, if you have caused this damage and over brush teeth. Look for these signs like worn areas on teeth, shiny spots or yellow-brown spots near your gumline. Also look for v-shaped indentions called notching in your teeth at the gumline.
Gum Recession When You Over Brush Teeth
If you over brush teeth, you can also cause your gums to pull back from your teeth. This is gum recession. It exposes the soft cementum of your tooth root, a part of your tooth that does not have the protective enamel. This area is particularly vulnerable to decay. It is also easily made sensitive and painful such as when you eat sweet, hot or cold foods.
Tooth Sensitivity from Overbrushing Teeth
When you over brush teeth, you can wear away your tooth enamel. Enamel is your tooth’s biggest natural asset in preventing tooth decay and other dental problems. Once you lose your enamel, you cannot get it back. Also once it is gone, the nerve endings in your dentin are left exposed. This causes tooth sensitivity and pain when you try to eat cold, hot or sweet foods.
Do You Over Brush Teeth?
If you over brush teeth and damage them or your gums, you need to see your dentist. This dental abrasion and gum recession can lead to tooth decay if left untreated. As a result, you can even lose some of your teeth.
There are treatments available to protect your dental health if you over brush teeth. These treatments include fluoride varnish for teeth strengthening. Your dentist can also use bonding to cover the exposed or damaged area with a tooth-colored filling. Veneers are another option when you have damage from overbrushing.
If you damage your gums and cause gum recession, treatment is more complex. Gums do not always come back. This can mean you need gum grafting surgery to replace your lost gum tissue. This procedure may also help protect your cementum.
How to Not Over Brush Teeth
There are ways to ensure you do not over brush teeth. You simply have to use good oral hygiene habits. These habits include:
- Using a soft bristled toothbrush
- Using toothpaste rich in calcium and fluoride
- Avoiding abrasive toothpastes
- Using proper brushing technique
- Avoiding brushing immediately after eating, instead waiting at least an hour
- Drinking water or chewing sugarless gum after meals and while waiting to brush
- Not opening bottles with your teeth, biting fingernails or holding items like nails or pins between your teeth
- Avoiding lip or tongue piercings that can damage tooth enamel
To learn more about proper brushing technique and how to ensure you do not over brush teeth, visit your dentist at Carolina Dental Arts in Raleigh or Goldsboro, NC. Ask your dental professionals if you show signs of overbrushing. Schedule your next dental exam visit today.