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Dentistry Memphis

Aggressive Tooth Brushing and the Risk of Dental Damage

A toothbrush with toothpaste and a dental mirrorProper oral hygiene is key to maintaining a healthy smile. Routinely flossing and brushing the teeth help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, but poor brushing habits can negate these benefits. One poor habit that is particularly harmful is aggressive tooth brushing.

Aggressive tooth brushing can lead to dental damage and put oral health at risk. Restorative dentistry treatments can repair dental damage caused by aggressive brushing and protect oral health. To discover your treatment options for dental damage and aggressive tooth brushing, schedule a consultation with Memphis, TN dentist Timothy S. Messer.

What Is Aggressive Tooth Brushing?

Aggressive tooth brushing refers to brushing the teeth too hard or using the wrong technique. Some ways that aggressive brushing can occur include using too much pressure, using a hard-bristled toothbrush, or brushing back and forth across the teeth at a 90-degree angle. In many cases, those who brush their teeth aggressively will find that the bristles of their toothbrush are flattened or pushed back.

Dental Damage Caused by Aggressive Tooth Brushing

Aggressive tooth brushing is dangerous to oral health. While it may seem that using a lot of pressure when brushing the teeth will remove more plaque and prevent tooth decay, it can have the opposite effect.

Aggressive tooth brushing is abrasive and can wear down the outer layer of the teeth, called the enamel. The enamel helps protect the teeth from decay and shields the internal structures of the teeth from infection. As the enamel is worn away, the teeth become may become more sensitive and vulnerable to decay.

Another common problem associated with aggressive tooth brushing is gum recession. Gum recession refers to the process in which the gum tissue supporting the teeth wears or pulls away from the teeth. This creates gaps between the teeth and gums, exposing areas of the teeth below the gum line to plaque and bacteria. If left untreated, gum recession can lead to increased dental sensitivity as well as tooth decay.

In summary, aggressive tooth brushing can cause serious dental damage, including:

  • Wearing away of the enamel
  • Gum recession
  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Tooth decay

How Can Aggressive Tooth Brushing Be Prevented?

Aggressive tooth brushing can be very damaging to the teeth, but there are steps that can be taken to prevent dental damage and avoid aggressive brushing. These tips can help:

  • Use proper brushing technique: When brushing the teeth, the toothbrush should be held at a 45-degree angle and you should brush in small circles instead of a sweeping motion.
  • Switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush: Use a soft-bristled toothbrush instead of a medium or hard bristle to remove plaque without damaging the teeth.
  • Use gentle toothpaste: Some toothpastes are overly abrasive and can contribute to the damaging effects of aggressive tooth brushing. Switching to gentle toothpaste can help.
  • Brush with light pressure: Using light pressure along while brushing can effectively remove plaque and prevent dental damage.

Schedule a Consultation

If you have experienced dental damage from aggressive brushing, or would like to learn more about protecting your smile, you're encouraged to schedule a consultation with Dr. Messer today.

Tagged In: General Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry

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I have been to several dentists in the Memphis Area and I have finally found THE ONE!! Dr. Messer is the best dentist I have ever been to. I have complete confidence in any procedure that he performs and I can't imagine ever going to any other dentist.

-Meredith Page B.