Are you brushing your teeth harder?
Can brushing hard cause sensitivity and gum recession?
Brushing your teeth with excessive force can damage your gums and teeth. The question is; does brushing with excessive force help to clean properly? The answer to this question is no. Perhaps using excessive force can injure gums and other oral tissues.
Let’s understand normal tooth anatomy first. The tooth has two parts; The tooth Crown; one that we see inside our mouth and the second one is the root portion; which is hidden under the gums and inside the bone. Bone wraps around the root of the tooth and gums wrap around the bone and some portion of tooth above the bone level.
Brushing harder will injure the gums and push the gums away from the teeth. Once the protective layer of gums is moved away; your teeth may become sensitive to hot or cold foods. Gum recession and bone loss is almost always irreversible. Gum recession can be treated with gingival grafts.
The root surface which is called cementum is much softer than enamel. Brushing alone can damage this layer and cause loss of cementum from the tooth. This is called abrasion. It will further lead to sensitivity and possibly decay as well.
Inadequate home care:
Not brushing regularly or brushing improperly can cause build-up around the teeth. This buildup will cause inflammation on the gums which may lead to gum recession and eventually bone loss. Regular flossing and brushing and professional dental care are important to main healthy teeth and gums.
Tooth Brushing Tips
- Use a soft bristle toothbrush.
- Don’t Rush when you Brush. Make sure you spend enough time to clean all surfaces of the teeth.
- Use the correct tooth brushing technique.
- Wait at least 20-30 minutes after you eat food before you brush your teeth.
Tooth Brushing Technique
- Always use a soft bristle toothbrush with different length bristles.
- Hold toothbrush bristles at 45-degree angle at the gum line.
- Make circular motion 2-3 times covering 2-3 teeth at one time.
- Make sure to advance 1-2 teeth at a time so that each tooth is covered multiple times.