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Toothbrush Abrasion

  • Can over brushing your teeth be harmful?

    By Katie Parr

We all know the importance of brushing our teeth twice a day and for 2 minutes at a time. However, a study carried out by researchers at Newcastle University claims that over brushing your teeth does not necessarily lead to your teeth being cleaner, but can result in damage to your teeth.

Brushing technique

It is recommended that when people brush their teeth, they use an appropriate technique. People should not concentrate on how hard they brush, but instead adopt a regime where they are cleaning their teeth effectively. There are many different techniques on how to brush your teeth, ranging from brushing in a circular motion to moving the tooth brush with short strokes.

For those in doubt on how to brush their teeth, it is recommended that an appointment is made with their dentist or a dental hygienist who will be able to provide advice and help those to achieve the right technique.

Problems with an incorrect brushing technique

Brushing your teeth too hard or over enthusiastically can result in damage to your teeth and gums. People who over brush may find that they suffer from:

– Receding gums- this can cause the teeth to look longer as the gum has receded. Once gums have receded, they will not grow back and some people may require surgery to try and remedy this problem.

– Sensitivity- nerves in the teeth can become exposed when gums start to recede, causing sensitivity.

– Holes in teeth- these can be created from the gum receding and the dentin (the second layer of the tooth and is normally covered by enamel) being exposed. Over brushing can then cause the dentin to be cut away.

– Tooth loss- whilst the gums recede, there may not be enough support for the tooth and the tooth may eventually get loose and fall out.

–  Yellow teeth- over brushing can cause the dentin which is normally covered under the enamel of the tooth to be exposed.

Preventing tooth abrasion

In order to prevent damage to your teeth and gums, it is recommended that you consult a dentist for advice. It is also important that a new brushing technique is adopted, this should prevent further damage. However, some damage may require specialist treatment and you should consult a dental expert for advice on this.

If you have suffered from substandard dental treatment and you are considering making a claim, please contact myself or a member of the Dental Negligence Team who will be happy to assist.

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