You know that routinely brushing your teeth is essential for a healthy smile, so it may seem like you can never brush too much. Nonetheless, in some ways, the old adage “less is more” applies to dental hygiene. Brushing too often or too aggressively can actually cause irreparable harm to your teeth, removing the protective enamel that helps to combat decay. Additionally, overly hard brushing can erode your gums, causing the soft tissues to recede away from your dental roots.
At the Smile Center in Virginia Beach, VA, we offer a variety of restorative dentistry treatments to repair damage from aggressive brushing. However, our primary goal is to prevent dental damage in the first place by teaching you the best ways to care for your teeth.
Aggressive brushing is characterized by brushing too hard or by a toothbrush with overly hard bristles. Doing so will gradually abrade your dental enamel. In turn, you will face a much higher risk for dental decay, since the underlying porous areas of tissue (dentin) are more susceptible to oral bacteria. Dental erosion will also affect your appearance. The edges of your teeth may become uneven, and your smile may look discolored since dentin is naturally off-white. Furthermore, dentin is also more sensitive, so it may be uncomfortable to eat or drink cold foods.
Aggressive brushing can also affect your gums, leading to tissue recession. As your gums begin to pull away, your tooth roots may become exposed. Dental roots contain nerve endings, so you may experience pronounced discomfort and sensitivity. In severe cases, gum erosion can even lead to tooth loss.
If you have experienced pronounced dental erosion, porcelain veneers can be an excellent solution. Because it will cover the entire façade, a veneer can correct erosion that affects the front and the edges of your tooth. Our dentists and laboratory team will work with great care and precision to design completely customized veneers.
Before placing the veneers, your dentist will need to reshape your teeth and trim off some enamel. Therefore, it is necessary that you have enough enamel for this process. If your dental erosion is particularly severe, you may not qualify for veneers.
Bonding can be an effective alternative to veneers, particularly if pronounced erosion precludes you from veneers treatment. Bonding will cover up the front of your teeth in a similar way, but your dentist will not need to reshape your teeth. Instead, he or she will apply the composite directly onto the surface of your teeth. All that is required in the way of prep work is a conservative etching process during which your dentist will treat your teeth with a mild acidic solution. By creating microscopic grooves in the front of your teeth, the chemical will provide greater surface area for a more reliable bond.
Dental crowns may be appropriate for cases of severe erosion. This type of restoration will fully cover your damaged tooth. At The Smile Center, we proudly use CEREC® technology to create crowns, so we can complete the treatment in just one office visit. Your dentist will dramatically reshape your tooth and take digital impressions with the CEREC scanner. Then the connected milling system will carve the crown in under an hour.
Much of our periodontal care is focused on treatment for gum disease, but we can also address gum erosion. A minor gum grafting surgery can restore your gum line and cover your exposed dental nerves. To perform the treatment, your doctor will take a tissue sample (usually from your soft palate), grafting it onto the uneven, worn areas of your gum line.
If gum recession has resulted in tooth loss, we can also provide several types of restorations. Traditional bridges are a reliable and affordable option. Whenever possible, however, we recommend dental implants. These restorations are much more secure since they replace the dental roots, as well as the missing crowns.
Contact The Smile Center online today to learn more about how we can repair damage due to aggressive tooth brushing. In addition to determining the right treatment, we will also teach you how to avoid damage in the future.