teeth brushing

Many of us were taught from a young age that good oral hygiene is crucial for a healthy smile. This meant brushing your teeth twice a day or more. But is there actually such a thing as brushing your teeth too much? Surprisingly, over-brushing can do more harm than good. Read on to learn about the top 5 risks of being overzealous with your toothbrush.

Extreme tooth brushing can lead to:

1. Tooth Wear

Brushing too aggressively or too frequently can actually wear away your tooth enamel over time. This enamel is the outer protective layer of your teeth. Once enamel wears away, the next layer of the tooth called dentin gets exposed. Dentin is much softer and more porous than enamel. This means it provides less protection against external substances that can irritate the inner tooth and cause pain. Dentin contains thousands of tiny tubules leading to the inner dental pulp that register hot, cold and pressure sensitivities. Without the enamel barrier, these sensitivities are heightened.

Loss of enamel also leaves teeth prone to cavities and tooth decay. Enamel has a crystalline structure that helps prevent bacteria from adhering to teeth. Without it, bacteria can start to penetrate into micro holes in the exposed dentin, raising your risk of cavities, tooth infections and decay. According to the British Dental Association, up to 30% of adults display signs of tooth wear caused by over brushing.

2. Gum Recession 

Excessive brushing can also rub away at your gums, leading to gum recession. This is when your gums gradually pull away from your teeth, exposing more tooth surface and root. Receding gum puts you at greater risk for decay and increased sensitivity. About 8% of UK adults have some form of gum recession, reports the Adult Dental Health Survey.

Find out more: Is Gum Recession Reversible?

3. Sensitivity

Worn enamel and gum recession leave microscopic cracks and openings in your teeth for hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and liquids to penetrate. This leads to increased sensitivity and pain when eating and drinking. To help reduce sensitivity from worn enamel and receding gums, try using a sensitivity toothpaste containing ingredients like potassium nitrate or arginine to block pain transmission. Avoiding very hot or cold foods can also help, as can getting any cavities filled quickly before they reach the nerve.

4. Damaged Tooth Roots

The roots of your teeth lie below your gum line. Brushing too forcefully near the gums can actually scrub away the root surface material. This causes increased sensitivity and can open you up to infections.

5. Loss of Tooth Structure

Repeated aggressive brushing over time can cause your teeth to become loose, thin, or grooved. This overall loss of tooth structure not only damages aesthetics but can also lead to dental issues like decay, cracking, or the need for crowns or implants.

Read about: Gum Aesthetics 101: Everything You Need to Know About Achieving a Perfect Smile

Protect Your Smile From Too Much Tooth Brushing

The good news is that by adjusting your brushing habits, you can avoid the dangers of overbrushing. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently using small, circular motions or better still use an electric toothbrush but only hold it on the tooth rather than moving it around (let it do the work for you). Opt for brushing just twice per day for two minutes each time. And see your dentist regularly, as they can catch early signs of wear and tear.

If you think you may be overbrushing, don’t wait. Give our periodontist in London a call today to discuss your oral health. We’re here to help you achieve better brushing habits and your healthiest smile.

Periodontal disease is a common condition that affects the gums and the bone that supports the teeth. Despite its prevalence, there are still many misconceptions about it that can lead to delayed treatment and even tooth loss.

In this blog, we will clear up five common misconceptions with insights from a periodontist in London.

periodontal disease

Periodontal Disease Only Affects Older People

Contrary to popular belief, periodontal disease can affect people of all ages. While it is more common in older adults, younger people can also develop the condition. Poor oral hygiene, smoking, diabetes, and certain medications can increase the risk of it at any age. Therefore, it is essential to maintain healthy teeth and gums from a young age to prevent this. At RW Perio, we provide supportive periodontal therapy, in which when active treatment is complete, supportive therapy maintains the health improvements achieved.

gum disease treatment

Brushing and Flossing Alone Can Be A Preventative

While brushing and flossing are essential for maintaining good oral hygiene, they are not enough to prevent the disease. Regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings by a periodontist are also necessary. A periodontist can detect the early signs and recommend appropriate treatment to prevent them from progressing.

periodontal disease

Bleeding Gums Are Normal

Many people assume that bleeding gums are natural, particularly when brushing or flossing their teeth. Bleeding gums, on the other hand, are a sign of inflammation and can be an indication of this disease. As a result, if your gums bleed on a frequent basis, you should consult a periodontist. If you’re curious to know why your gums are persistently bleeding, read about it here – “What Your Bleeding Gums are Trying to Tell You”.

periodontal treatment

Periodontal Disease Only Affects Gums

The gums and the bone that holds the teeth in place are both affected by periodontal disease. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss as well as other major health issues like heart disease and diabetes. If you have any indications of these symptoms, it is critical that you seek treatment from a periodontist. Read our latest article on what you can do about your receding gums – “Is Gum Recession Reversible”.

Periodontal Treatment Is Painful and Expensive

Many people skip periodontal therapy because they believe it will be painful and costly. Periodontal therapy, however, is now more comfortable and affordable than ever before thanks to contemporary periodontal treatment procedures. In fact, postponing therapy may result in more extensive and costly treatment in the future. Why not try our Online Gum Health Check today?

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Clearing up Misconceptions

Periodontal disease is a serious condition that can affect anyone at any age. Maintaining healthy teeth and gums, seeing a periodontist regularly, and seeking prompt treatment can help prevent this from progressing. If you have any questions about periodontal health or periodontal treatment, contact us for a specialist assessment here at RW Perio.

Here is your 10 step guide on how to have healthy gums

Looking after your teeth and gums can prevent gum disease. This means adopting good habits in oral hygiene and getting regular professional check-ups.

For more information on healthy gums, gum disease, dental and articles, make sure to read our other blogs.

More information on periodontal can be found on the British Society of Periodontology and Implant dentistry website.

 

Can gum disease affect my general health?

The simple answer is yes, gum disease can affect your general health. The mouth is connected with the rest of the body. It is the doorway to the body, rather than a separate organ, and is the access point for bacteria to enter the bloodstream via the gums.

There are particularly strong associations between diabetes and heart disease. When considering diabetes, not only does gum disease have an effect on diabetic control, but it also increases the risk of diabetes in healthy individuals.

The good news is that treating gum/periodontal disease may have a positive impact on general health. So don’t ignore the signs of gum disease and take the necessary steps to ensure healthy gums. Remember, healthy gums = healthy body.

For more information on gum health, disease, dental, and articles, make sure to read our other blogs.

More information on periodontal can be found on the British Society of Periodontology and Implant dentistry website.

gum disease london

Can gum/periodontal disease treatment make a difference to my life?

Gum/periodontal disease can have a negative impact on your quality of life. For example, bad breath may affect your confidence to get close to someone, loose teeth may affect your ability to eat hard foods, tooth loss may affect your nutritional status and the teeth may change position leading to an unattractive smile.

Treating gum/periodontal condition will make a difference to the quality of your life and daily functions. If the condition is treated, you would not have to worry about bad breath, you could eat the foods you like and future tooth loss is prevented. Even individuals who initially don’t have any major symptoms from the condition often say that their mouth feels healthier and they feel better in themselves.

Make sure to read our other blogs to keep a check on your gums. Or contact us if you have any questions or feedback, or would like to book an appointment.

How well does gum/periodontal disease treatment work?

Gum/periodontal disease treatment works really well!

It’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to gum disease. The treatment for the condition is highly predictive and works very well. Of course, the earlier it’s treated the more predictable it is. The first line of treatment is usually ‘non-surgical debridement, which involves disinfecting the gum pockets, allowing them to heal and close up. Even for very advanced cases, there are many options to get the condition under control and ensure the mouth is healthy again.

Although gum/periodontal condition can’t be cured, it can be stabilised. Once it has been stabilised, life-long maintenance of health is simple.

Check out our other blogs if you want to learn more about your dental care. Or contact us if you have any questions or feedback, or would like to book an appointment.

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Why are my gums bleeding during pregnancy?

Pregnancy changes your body and that includes your gums too! This means you are more at risk of gum disease and may experience signs of this such as bleeding gums. These signs should not be ignored, as gum disease treatment is safe, effective, and important during pregnancy. Pregnant women should be aware that dental X-rays can be undertaken and local anaesthesia can be delivered without additional risk either to the mother or the foetus. In fact, the risks of no treatment are much higher.

Even without any of the symptoms, if you’re pregnant, it’s always a good idea to get a gum screen and take the necessary precautions to prevent gum disease.

Check out our other articles if you want to learn more about your dental care. Or contact us if you have any questions or feedback, or would like to book an appointment.

Does gum disease run in families?

Genetics and underlying susceptibility play a big role in determining whether you suffer from gum/periodontal condition. Although the plaque/bacteria are the initial cause, your genetic makeup affects how you react to that plaque. For example, your response may be exaggerated if you are genetically more susceptible. Especially if you are young, have a severe disease, and have no other risk factors, this may be the central reason as to why you have developed the disease.

Even if gum disease runs in your family, it doesn’t mean the treatment won’t be successful. In fact, treatment for this is generally highly predictable.

Does my diet affect my gums?

Nutrition and diet have a role in gum/periodontal problems. An imbalance or deficiencies can increase the risk and severity of periodontal disease by affecting the body’s resistance and potential for repair.

Therefore, it’s important to have a healthy intake of fibre, fruit and vegetables and reduce the level of refined sugars to prevent dental disease and improve general health.

Can you cure gum/periodontal disease?

You can never really ‘cure’ gum/periodontal condition but you can treat and stabilise it. Once treated and the gums are healthy, you need to ensure life-long regular maintenance at home and with your hygienist to ensure you minimise any chances of relapse.

Check out our other articles if you want to learn more about your dental care. Or contact us if you have any questions, or feedback, or would like to book an appointment.

periodontal treatment london

What if I leave my gums untreated?

If your gum/periodontal condition is left untreated, this can result in your teeth loosening up and eventual tooth loss. Other associated symptoms may also start to develop including bleeding gums, gum boils, bad breath, bad taste and painful gums/teeth.

You may get very few symptoms until it is advanced so it is important to catch it early, as it’s a preventable and treatable condition.

Are lasers needed to treat my gum?

The simple answer to the question above is no.

Laser is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. The evidence base for using lasers in the treatment of periodontal/gum problems is unclear. However, what we do know is that they do not have any additional advantages over conventional treatment.

Conventional therapy has been used predictably for many decades and often those who use lasers will charge you more for the treatment, but the outcome will be the same as that for conventional therapy. So further well-designed studies are required before the widespread use of lasers in periodontology can be advocated.

gum treatment

If I have gum disease is it safe to have dental implants?

Dental implants have become a popular choice for replacing missing teeth. Implants are manufactured from titanium and can support crowns, bridges or dentures.

For patients with advanced gum/periodontal problems, it is often tempting to want to replace loose teeth with implants. The first thing to remember is that nothing beats your own tooth! So wherever you can, you should always try and save your natural tooth, even if it is loose.

The second thing to be aware of is that you must treat any gum/periodontal condition before having any dental implant treatment. If you have active gum/periodontal disease that has not been treated, you are at a higher risk of having problems around dental implants than someone with treated/healthy gums. These problems may include infection around the implant and eventual implant loss. So always ensure your gum condition has been treated before thinking about any implant treatment.

 

Check out our other articles if you want to learn more about your dental care. Or contact us if you have any questions or feedback, or would like to book an appointment. Follow us on Instagram to get updated on our latest treatments!

Why are my gums receding?

Gum recession happens when the gum tissue has receded and lowers its position on the tooth, exposing the roots of the teeth.

You may be at more risk of recession depending on the position of your teeth in the jaw as well as the thickness of your gum and bone. The recession itself may be caused by plaque, overly aggressive brushing or trauma from e.g. lip/tongue piercings.

Gum recession needs attention and the first step is to consult your dentist or a gum expert on whether further measures need to be taken to stop or correct the recession.

tongue scraper

What can I do about receding gums?

If you are only mildly affected by receding gums, that’s great! Catching it early means that it may just be a case of monitoring it. However, either way, it’s important that the cause of the recession is established and corrected. This may involve modification of your brushing technique or gum disease treatment.

If further treatment is required, the one recommended will depend on the aims of the treatment. The most common treatment is the free gingival graft, which involves taking a small piece of tissue from the roof of your mouth (palate) and using this as a graft to an area that is deficient. This thickens the gums, helps facilitate oral hygiene, and helps prevent further recession. This is often used for lower front teeth.

If aesthetics are of concern then the gum is often moved to cover the recession. This may or may not be combined with a gum graft depending on the thickness of the existing gum. Advances in the application of microsurgical techniques have led to improved success, less post-operative discomfort, and reduced healing times.

What can I do about my gummy smile?

A gummy smile describes excessive gum display when smiling. The teeth can also look smaller than their expected size. It is not uncommon and shouldn’t be ignored especially if it affects your self-confidence and happiness.

There are many reasons for a gummy smile but it is largely due to the way your teeth, gums, and jaw have developed.

A gummy smile can be treated using a ‘gum lift’ or crown lengthening procedure. This lengthens your teeth and reduces the amount of gum on show, thereby improving your smile.

This procedure is also suitable for teeth that are extensively broken down and require a more sound tooth structure above the gum line to allow for a restoration/crown to be placed.

When is crown lengthening necessary?

Occasionally there is not enough tooth surface above the gum line to support a crown; this is when crown lengthening is necessary.

Crown lengthening removes gum and bone tissues, exposing more of the tooth to allow room for the new crown. Crown lengthening is sometimes also a cosmetic procedure option for patients with a “gummy smile,” which means you have too much gum tissue around your teeth.

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Check out our other articles if you want to learn more about your dental care. Or contact us if you have any questions or feedback, or would like to book an appointment.