Receding Gums: Are You Brushing Your Teeth Too Hard?

  • Jan 31 2022

Have you noticed that your gum line seems to be farther back on your teeth than it used to be? If you know something looks different about your teeth, but you aren’t sure what it is, it could be receding gums. 

A receding gum line is a telltale sign that something is amiss with your dental hygiene, but could it be connected to brushing your teeth too hard? 

Learn more about the symptoms of receding gums and the best way to care for your teeth here.

How to Spot Receding Gums

Why do you need to spot receding gums early on? Your gums will not grow back. When receding gums are left untreated, they can result in exposed tooth roots and even loose teeth. These problems are uncomfortable and detrimental to your dental health. They can also create issues for your smile or bite. 

 How do you know if your gums are receding? Familiarize yourself with the signs that your gums may not be at their healthiest. Here are some of the most common symptoms of receding gums: 

  •  Bleeding after brushing or flossing the teeth
  • Gums that are red, swollen, or painful
  • Bad breath 
  • Noticeable difference in the gumline

 Some symptoms, such as pain when you brush, can be linked to sensitive teeth. If you experience pain while brushing, it might be a good time to evaluate your brushing habits or to check in with your dentist to see what you can do about this discomfort. 

Are You Brushing Too Hard? 

Many patients feel that the best way to get their teeth clean is to brush as hard as possible with a toothbrush with medium to hard bristles. Unfortunately, this is often an early warning sign that receding gums could be on the horizon. 

Under normal circumstances, you should only use a toothbrush with soft bristles. These are the only toothbrushes that the American Dental Association has endorsed. 

If you think you need a brush with harder bristles, make sure to consult with your dentist. Unless they specifically recommend harder bristles, soft bristles are the best way to clean your teeth safely. 

 Another way to determine whether you are brushing too hard is to take a closer look at your toothbrush. Even if you are using soft bristles, it is still possible to brush too hard. Damage to the bristles after using a brush for only a short period is often an indicator that you are being too vigorous in your brushing. 

 Brushing too hard also leads to sensitive teeth because it wears down the enamel on the outside of the tooth. This same loss of enamel can also lead to a smile that appears duller than it usually does. If you notice sensitive teeth or a dull smile, it is a good idea to take stock of the health of your gums. 

Spotting Issues Early 

If you think you might have receding gums from brushing your teeth too hard, contact your dentist for a checkup. You should also bring up symptoms like sensitive teeth, swollen gums, and bleeding after flossing your teeth. These could be signs of receding gums or gum disease.

Your dentist can advise you on the best ways to care for your teeth and prevent receding gums from becoming a larger issue for your smile. 

Forest Hill Dentistry is here to help you get your best smile. Dr. Payam Cohen will guide you through dental care, recommend the best toothbrush for your needs, and help you prevent larger issues like receding gums from taking over your smile. 

Give us a call today to schedule your next appointment with a caring and qualified professional dentist!

Categories: Dental Health