Problems From Too Much And Too Little Tooth Brushing And How To Repair Them

The practice of properly brushing your teeth each day will help your teeth and gums be plaque-free and healthy. Too much brushing can cause damage to your teeth from excessive rubbing, and too little brushing can allow cavities and bacteria to flourish in your mouth. Here are some of the dental problems that can come from too little and too much teeth brushing and how you can repair and prevent them.

Too Little Tooth Brushing

It is recommended to brush your teeth at least two to three times a day, for at least two minutes. Brushing your teeth throughout the day can remove the bacteria-filled plaque that sticks to your teeth when saliva, food, and fluids combine in your mouth. It is important to brush your teeth throughout the day, because plaque can form on your teeth as soon as four hours after brushing your teeth. 

If you don't remove the plaque on your teeth, calcium phosphate crystals or calculus will begin to form inside the plaque and harden on your teeth as tartar. The only way to remove tartar is by having your dentist professionally clean your teeth. You can help prevent tartar build-up on your teeth by using a toothpaste containing pyrophosphates to prevent the crystals from sticking to your teeth.

When you don't brush your teeth, tartar also builds up and irritates your gums. This causes your gums to become swollen and pull away from your teeth in the beginning stages of periodontitis. While your gums recede, more plaque and tartar builds up in this gap between your gums and teeth, causing further irritation, inflammation, and infection. At this point, your dentist can give you a deep tooth cleaning, called scaling and root planing, to remove the infection and allow your teeth and gums to heal. You can also have a surgical treatment, called a gum graft, to repair the damage.

Continued infection in your gum line will break down the connective tissues holding your teeth in place. This will cause you to have tooth loss. You can get dental implants, which are surgically implanted and buried inside your gum tissue so the implant fuses with your jaw bone. Dental implants replace the entire tooth and tooth root so you can eat foods without wearing dentures.

Too Much Tooth Brushing

If you already brush your teeth two to three times per day, you still need to be wary of brushing too vigorously. Vigorous brushing or scrubbing of your teeth can do damage to the protective outer layer of your teeth. Once the enamel is worn off your teeth, it does not grow back. You will be left with sensitive notches on your teeth that can be a different color than the rest of your tooth. Aggressive brushing can also cause your gums to recede away from your teeth, making your teeth appear longer as the gums recede.

If you have notches or grooves in your teeth from aggressive brushing, you can ask your dentist to fill them in with dental bonding material. But, you should make sure to change the way your brush your teeth so you don't continue to damage them. Dental bonding material is just like a tooth filling and is not tooth enamel, so it can be knocked loose with repeated vigorous brushing.

When you are brushing your teeth to remove plaque, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and don't use a lot of pressure. In fact, plaque is so soft that you could rub it off using a wash cloth if you could reach into all the tiny crevices around your teeth with a wash cloth.

It can be easy to get into a habit of brushing your teeth without paying attention to what you are doing. To prevent this, don't start brushing the same teeth each time you begin. Mix things up by beginning in a different area of your mouth each time so you don't get bored. Also, hold your toothbrush with your fingertips, not the palm of your hand. This will help you brush lightly and not scrub your teeth. Then, divide your mouth up into four sections and use a timer to help you spend 30 seconds on each section. 

Use this information to help you avoid brushing your teeth too little and too much. Talk to your dentist for more info.