Are You Damaging Your Teeth by Brushing Too Hard?

Are you causing dental enamel damage and gum recession by excessive tooth brushing?

Are You Damaging Your Teeth by Brushing Too Hard?
Photo by Dose Juice / Unsplash

Many people are conscientious about maintaining good oral hygiene and brush their teeth rigorously to maintain a healthy smile.

However, excessive force during tooth brushing can lead to undesirable consequences that may not be immediately evident.

So, what really happens when you brush your teeth too hard?

Tooth Enamel and Brushing

Contrary to popular belief, brushing too hard with a hard bristle toothbrush does not directly damage enamel, which is a tough outer layer protecting the teeth.

However, it can cause damage to the gum tissues and the cementum, a softer layer covering the tooth's root surface.

Potential Damage

Excessive brushing pressure can lead to gum recession, resulting in the exposure of cementum.

The exposed cementum is vulnerable and prone to damage and removal, leading to dental complications such as sensitivity and root surface cavities.

Professional Dental Cleaning

During a dental cleaning, the calculus or tartar is carefully removed from the teeth.

Professional instruments used by the dentist or hygienist, though pointed, do not scrape off enamel as they are designed not to damage it.

Even individuals with periodontal or gum disease can undergo professional cleaning without the risk of enamel damage.

Impact of Brushing Too Hard

The impact of brushing too hard extends beyond damaging the gums and cementum.

It can also affect overall oral health by causing wear and tear on gums, increased tooth sensitivity, and an increased risk of developing cavities.

It is crucial to balance thoroughness with gentleness when it comes to dental care, ensuring optimal dental health while preserving the integrity of teeth and gums.