While brushing your teeth is a key part of maintaining good dental health, if you are doing it incorrectly you could be causing damage to your teeth. The name dentists give to this type of damage is dental abrasion. Below is a guide to dental abrasion and the treatment options which are available to combat it.
The symptoms of dental abrasion
- Discolouration of the teeth
- Increased sensitivity
- Receding and bleeding gums
The causes of dental abrasion
Brushing too hard
If you apply a lot of pressure and scrub your teeth forcefully when you clean them, you may believe that this will keep them extra clean. Unfortunately, this kind of brushing can begin to strip layers of enamel from your teeth, increasing the chance that you will develop tooth decay and sensitivity.
The wrong kind of toothbrush
If you are using a toothbrush with hard bristles, this can also contribute to dental abrasion. While the bristles will remove plaque and debris from the surface of your teeth, it may also remove layers of enamel from the surface of your teeth. A hard toothbrush can also cause damage to your gums, leading to gum disease.
Some brands of whitening toothpaste contain abrasive material which is designed to remove surface stains from your teeth. Unfortunately, this may also remove outer layers of enamel from your teeth leading to sensitivity and an increased chance of decay.
Treatment options for dental abrasion
The type of treatment you will receive for dental abrasion will depend on the severity of the damage to your teeth and gums. If your dentist detects only minor damage, they may recommend making changes to your oral hygiene routine, such as investing in a softer toothbrush or brushing less vigorously. This will allow your oral health to recover without the need for further treatment.
If the abrasion has caused severe recession of your gums, your dentist may recommend that you have surgery. During surgery, your dentist will reposition your gum tissue, which will help to protect the teeth and improve your smile.
Dental abrasion is a problem which normally affects those that care about their dental health, with the problem arising because people want to keep their teeth really clean and white. If you think you may be affected by dental abrasion, you should book an appointment with your dentist. They will be able to assess your oral health and offer advice and treatment.