I know we have been conditioned that if you really want to get something clean you need to give it a good scrubbing. However, when it comes to your teeth, you can cause more harm than good!
Brushing to hard can wear down your tooth’s enamel as well as damage your gums by exposing very sensitive roots. It can also cause receding gums. Once your gums recede, it can result in an avalanche of dental issues from there. Periodontal Disease and cavities on the root of a tooth can lead to a root canal or tooth extraction.
Choosing the right toothbrush is important when you are extra diligent with your dental care. It is recommended that you use a soft-bristled tooth brush when brushing your pearly whites. Hard bristled or medium bristled toothbrushes are not the best choice for people who brush aggressively.
Knowing you are an aggressive brusher is the first step to correcting the issue. Being taught good dental brushing habits will usually prevent any dental damage from getting worse. Brushing your teeth aggressively is not the way to ensure all the plaque is removed. Plaque can be easily removed with a soft bristled brush as long as you reach all the surfaces that it hides.
It’s all about the technique! Have you heard the expression quality verses quantity? It should take you 2 to 3 minutes to brush your teeth thoroughly. First start by tilting your brush at a 45 degree angle against the gumline and sweep or roll the brush away from the gumline. Make sure to brush the inside and outside chewing surface of each tooth. And last but not least, gently brush your tongue.
Special Care for Diabetes Patients
If you have diabetes, the number one thing you can do for your oral health is keep your blood glucose levels as normal as possible. Here’s why: When your blood glucose levels are poorly controlled, you’re more likely to develop gum disease and lose teeth than people who don’t have diabetes. In turn, gum disease could cause your blood sugar to rise, making your diabetes harder to control. So it’s imperative that you keep your teeth and gums clean by brushing twice a day and flossing daily. And if you wear dentures, remove and clean them every day.
Keeping up with twice yearly dental visits is also crucial for patients with diabetes. A professional cleaning is the only way to remove the plaque and tartar that lead to gum disease. Also be sure to discuss your diabetes status and current medications with your dentist at each dental visit.
Warning Signs: Gum Disease
Because diabetes makes you more prone to developing gum disease, it’s important to be able to identify the warning signs. These are the most common:
– Bleeding gums when you brush or floss
– Red, swollen or tender gums
– Receding gums
– Pus between the teeth and gums
– Persistent bad breath
– Loose permanent teeth
– Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
– Changes in the fit of partial dentures or a dental bridge
Also keep an eye on other symptoms that might develop, including white patches on your tongue, which could indicate oral thrush, an infection caused by fungus that grows in the mouth, and soreness and ulcers in the mouth, which could be a sign of dry mouth. If you notice any of these symptoms, see your dentist.
Gum Grafts: Stick It to Receding Gums
Take a look at your gums. Do they look like they’re receding or do they feel extra sensitive lately? If yes, it’s time to come in for a visit. Receding gums are a sign of two things: gum disease or overly aggressive brushing. Left untreated, gum disease can lead to tooth loss and even heart disease. For early stages of gum disease, we can use a non-surgical scaling and root planing (SRP) treatment to get your gums healthy again. Excessive gum recession, however, sometimes requires a surgical treatment called a gum graft.
Once your gums start to recede, brushing with a lighter hand will only be effective if there is still adequate gum tissue left to act as a barrier from disease and bone loss. But if your gums have receded to the extent that your tooth roots are exposed, you may need a gum graft. Exposed tooth roots can cause varying degrees of tooth sensitivity or make your teeth appear longer than normal. But more importantly, exposed tooth roots can leave your teeth vulnerable to bacteria and periodontal disease.
Gum grafts may also be used to correct a high frenum attachment. The frenum is the muscle between the upper or lower front teeth; if it pulls on the gum margin, recession could result. Orthodontic therapies can also stretch the gum line and cause the gums to recede. In all cases, gum grafts are an excellent way to protect the underlying bone and prevent the gums from receding further.