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Tooth Brush Abrasion

Posted Dec 24 2008 3:12pm

 

Dentistry has been so successful over the last few decades at educating and convincing the public about the value of their teeth that we are now commonly observing  “tooth brush abrasion”.  Patients are now brushing on a regular basis and many as often as three or four times a day. Actually, if you use a proper brushing technique, you only need to brush twice a day. There is nothing wrong with more as long as the brushing is  done properly, and with  soft  nylon bristles. Make sure to read the label when buying a brush in order to  avoid  accidentally buying a  hard or medium bristle  brush.  Use an  ADA seal approved toothpaste, which is low in abrasion. Some toothpaste are very abrasive, as in smokers’ toothpastes (Topal, Pearl Drops, etc.).

Furthermore, if you are in the habit of rushing and brushing with a  sawing stroke  from front to back you will end up with grooves in your teeth near the  gum line.  These grooves are referred to as  tooth brush abrasion. They are clean, smooth and often darker in colour since you have removed the enamel and are now looking at yellow  dentin  or cementum  below. 

Furthermore, if you are in 
the habit of rushing and 
brushing with a  sawing stroke   
from front to back you 
will end up with grooves in 
your teeth near the  gum line.
These grooves are referred 
to as  tooth brush abrasion.

Occasionally, no grooves can be felt or seen, but simply blowing cold air will illicit a pain response. Furthermore, contact with cold drinks or sweets will also cause  pain. This occurs because you have  exposed small nerve   endings, that under normal circumstances, should be covered by enamel. Your dentist can  desensitize  these sensitive tooth brush abrasions.

Toothbrush abrasion can get so advanced in the elderly that you can actually get a groove going half way through a tooth, comparable to a beaver cutting a tree. Surprisingly, many feel no pain whatsoever since the nerves have desensitized  themselves naturally. The unfortunate fact is that this  enamel has been lost forever. Sometimes the actual nerve (pulp) is encroached upon, or the tooth may become so weaken it may actually snap off at the point of the abrasion. However, with new  bonding materials,  your dentist can fill these deficient areas. 

Learning to brush and floss
properly is best accomplished 
at the dental office with your
dentist or hygienist showing 
you what technique would 
work best for your 
individual situation. 

Please remember that simply  brushing properly  with a soft nylon bristle  toothbrush using a  low abrasive ADA approved toothpaste  will help avoid or minimize this inconvenience.

Learning to brush and floss properly is best accomplished at the dental office with your  dentist  or  hygienist  showing you what technique would work best for your individual situation. They can help you decide on tooth brush size, bristle softness, type of floss and whether you would benefit from an electric toothbrush

Recent advances in design has made the  electric brush more popular than ever, since they make brushing easy, fun, and effective,  leaving your teeth feeling like you just had a professional cleaning at the dentist.

Proper oral hygiene  will not only prevent tooth brush abrasion, but will eliminate  tooth decay and gum disease.

It’s that simple!

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