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Aggressive Tooth Brushing can Lead to Dental Damage

Danny O'Keefe D.D.S. Jun 2, 2017

Toothbrush with toothpasteMost people learn at a young age how important it is to brush the teeth. Tooth brushing rids the mouth of harmful bacteria to prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar. Dentists recommend brushing at least twice a day to minimize the risk of tooth decay and other dental complications that require restorative dentistry treatment to rebuild oral health.

With all of the benefits that tooth brushing offers, it is surprising for many patients to learn that improper brushing can actually be more harmful than helpful. Dental damage and aggressive tooth brushing leave many of our Jackson, MS patients with compromised oral functions and teeth that are especially vulnerable to infection.

Dr. Danny O’Keefe is happy to teach his patients proper oral care techniques that will prevent dental damage. Dr. O’Keefe’s patients will also find appropriate restorative dentistry treatment to repair dental damage and restore the health, strength, and function of the smile.

Aggressive Tooth Brushing

Many people are eager to get the teeth clean, so they tend to apply a lot of pressure when brushing. Similarly, individuals often opt for medium- or hard-bristled toothbrushes, presumably believing they will do a better job at cleaning the teeth than a soft-bristled toothbrush. In fact, a soft-bristled toothbrush is best for the teeth, and very little pressure is required to get the teeth clean. Exerting too much pressure while brushing, or using a toothbrush that is too rough for the teeth can result in dental damage.

Types of Dental Damage Caused by Aggressive Tooth Brushing

There are many types of dental damage that can develop when a patient practices aggressive tooth brushing. The dental problems that are most common among these patients include the following:

  • Worn down enamel: The teeth are protected by a hard layer of tooth enamel. Although enamel is strong, it can wear down when it is exposed to excessive pressure, such as that from aggressive tooth brushing.
  • Tooth decay: Since enamel is the greatest barrier between bacteria, plaque, tartar, acids, and the inner layers of the teeth, the risk of tooth decay and other dental complications increases as tooth enamel becomes worn down or damaged by aggressive tooth brushing.
  • Tooth sensitivity: As tooth enamel wears down, the sensitive inner layers of the tooth will become exposed. As a result, tooth sensitivity may become an issue for those patients who brush aggressively.
  • Gum recession: The sensitive tissues of the gums can also be affected by aggressive tooth brushing. The gums may recede in response to this excessive force. Gum recession can lead to exposed tooth roots, increased tooth sensitivity, and vulnerability to infection.

Treating Dental Damage

When aggressive tooth brushing leads to dental damage, the teeth must be treated to prevent further dental complications. Dr. O’Keefe offers a full range of restorative dentistry treatments that can repair all stages of dental damage. These treatments include dental bonding, fillings, inlays, onlays, and dental crowns. Dr. O’Keefe will personalize treatment to address each patient’s unique needs.

Once dental damage has been repaired, it is important that patients take steps to avoid further damage. Patients should begin by switching to a soft-bristled toothbrush. When brushing, patients should use gentle and short strokes, rather than dragging the toothbrush across the teeth. It is also best to keep the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to the gum line, rather than pressing it flat against the teeth. By using these techniques, patients can avoid the damage of aggressive tooth brushing.

Contact Us

To learn more about the comprehensive range of dental services offered by Dr. Danny O’Keefe, contact us at your earliest convenience. We look forward to providing you with high quality dental care that will preserve the strength and health of your smile.

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