Aug 1

The Dangers of Dental Damage and Aggressive Tooth Brushing

Dental Damage and Aggressive Tooth Brushing

by Jon Marc Van Slate DDS

A toothbrush and dental mirrorBrushing the teeth is essential for good oral health, but aggressive tooth brushing can lead to serious dental damage. Fortunately, Dr. Jon Marc Van Slate offers a variety of restorative dentistry treatments to repair dental damage caused by oral health issues like aggressive tooth brushing. But what exactly is aggressive tooth brushing?

Aggressive tooth brushing can be described as brushing the teeth with a great deal of pressure, or using a toothbrush with medium or hard bristles. Now that you know what aggressive tooth brushing is, you may be wondering if you've been guilty of this bad habit and how it can damage the teeth. Find out as we take a closer look at dental damage and aggressive tooth brushing. Contact our Houston, TX practice to discuss your concerns.

The Signs of Aggressive Tooth Brushing

One of the biggest indicators of aggressive tooth brushing is flattened toothbrush bristles. This occurs because brushing with too much pressure pushes the bristles back, causing them to flatten over time.

Another sign of aggressive tooth brushing is a receding gum line. Medium or hard bristles, combined with heavy pressure, can push the gums back, causing gum recession.

Aggressive Tooth Brushing Can Lead to Dental Damage

Aggressive tooth brushing is highly abrasive and destructive to the teeth. If you are aggressively brushing your teeth, you may be at risk for such dental damage as:

  • Enamel wear: Aggressive tooth brushing can wear away the enamel if steps aren't taken to stop incorrect brushing technique. Enamel wear is a serious concern because a loss of enamel leaves the teeth vulnerable to decay.
  • Gum recession: Although gum recession is an issue that directly impacts the gums, it can lead to dental damage. Gum recession results in gaps between the gums and teeth, allowing bacteria to reach areas of the teeth beneath the gum line, like the tooth roots. Gum recession can also lead to loose teeth or tooth loss.
  • Increased tooth sensitivity: The teeth may become increasingly sensitive the longer aggressive brushing occurs. Aggressive brushing can lead to tooth sensitivity as a result of enamel wear or gum recession. Both enamel wear and gum recession can expose the dental nerves housed within the teeth to outside factors, like temperature fluctuations, that can cause pain.
  • Tooth decay: Once aggressive tooth brushing wears away the enamel, tooth decay can occur. If left untreated, tooth decay may lead to root canal infections and tooth loss.

How to Avoid Aggressive Tooth Brushing

Aggressive tooth brushing may seem like it's the ideal way to clean the teeth, but it's actually very harmful to dental health and not necessary to effectively remove plaque from the teeth. Plaque is soft and may be effectively removed with light pressure, a soft-bristled toothbrush, and good brushing techniques. Follow these brushing techniques to avoid aggressive brushing and maintain a healthy smile.

  • Use small, circular strokes: To effectively remove plaque without damaging the enamel, it is important to use small, circular strokes instead of a back and forth motion.
  • Switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush: If you use a toothbrush with medium or hard bristles, switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush can help reduce abrasion and prevent enamel wear.
  • Don't tense your hand or shoulders: Brushing the teeth with a tense hand or shoulder can be an indication of using too much pressure to brush the teeth. Instead, relax the hand and shoulders while brushing to avoid damaging the teeth.

Schedule a Consultation

To learn more about aggressive tooth brushing and dental damage, or to find out which dental treatments are right for you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Van Slate.

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