Beware of Overbrushing!

If brushing twice a day is good for your teeth, scrubbing those pearly whites five or six times a day should produce a perfect smile, right? Although it might sound like brushing more frequently or aggressively would help to scrub your dental surfaces clean, Dr. Silberg explains that overbrushing is actually a common mistake that could permanently damage your smile. Here are four problems commonly caused by overbrushing and what you can do to avoid issues.  

Dental Problems Caused By Overbrushing

Gum Recession

When you brush your teeth too frequently or too aggressively, it can whisk away gum tissue, which tends to grow back very slowly, if at all. Eventually, most overbrushers experience severe gum recession, exposing underlying dental roots. In addition to giving your smile an aged appearance, gum recession can also lead to cavities in your dental roots, which are painful and jeopardize your entire tooth.

Dental Sensitivity

Another issue caused by overbrushing is extreme dental sensitivity, because aggressive brushing can remove protective dental enamel. Unfortunately, the more worn down the dental surface becomes, the easier it is for hot and cold foods and liquids to affect the nerves inside of your teeth, causing sensitivity. Additionally, since dental roots aren’t covered by protective enamel, they are especially prone to sensitivity.

Surface Changes

Aggressive brushing can also cause pits and grooves to form in the surfaces of your teeth, making your teeth look damaged, mottled, or matte. Surface changes can also make it easier for food particles and plaque to adhere to the teeth, paving the way for tooth decay.

Yellowed Appearance

When you remove hard, white dental enamel by overbrushing, you are exposing underlying dentin, which is naturally yellow in color. When aggressive brushing has damaged the dental surface to this level, protective crowns or veneers might be the only way to correct the color and functionality of the tooth.  

Avoiding Overbrushing

To prevent brushing too aggressively, only brush twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Make sure that you are flossing properly without damaging the gum tissue, and talk with your dentist if you have problems like bleeding or pain during your normal dental care routine. If you are using a manual toothbrush, switch to a power toothbrush with a pressure sensor. These brushes shine a light or emit a noise if you are applying too much pressure, preventing damage. Also, talk with Dr. Silberg about gum disease treatment in Pittsburgh if you think that you are experiencing oral care problems. Many patients who overbrush are trying to treat more serious dental care issues than they can help at home, which is why scheduling an appointment with Dr. Silberg is important.

Posted in Blog, Brushing, Education, Gum Disease

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