Am I brushing too hard?

You want to look after your teeth. You’re doing the right thing and brushing twice a day but sometimes you notice bleeding or your toothbrush gets worn quickly or your teeth become sensitive to the slightest cold drink

…maybe you’re brushing too hard?

This is an important topic and I get asked this a lot: Am I brushing too hard? Brushing too hard causes permanent damage. It can lead to everyday discomfort when eating and drinking, decay on root surfaces of teeth and destruction of gums. At Riverstone Family Dental, we offer Emergency Services so you don’t have to live in discomfort!

Signs you are brushing too hard

  • sensitive teeth
  • yellow teeth or exposed root surfaces
  • longer teeth
  • teeth feel loose
  • bleeding gums
  • sore gums
  • receding gums
  • cut gums
  • swollen gums
  • your toothbrush/toothbrush head needs replacing more than once every 3 months


Can gums grow back?

Brushing your teeth too hard can cause permanent damage to your enamel and gums. Currently, neither enamel nor gums are capable of growing back. Enamel is worn down and the second layer of the tooth (dentine) becomes exposed. Exposed dentine leads to great sensitivity. Also dentine is darker in colour so the teeth start to look yellow. Enamel will need to be remineralised or strengthened. Or if severe, you may need fillings. The attachment of the gums to the teeth also becomes damaged. The gum tissue cannot re-attach to the tooth on its own so surgery may be required to fix this. Gum grafting is available for gums which are severely receded – this involves taking gum tissue from the roof of the mouth and attaching it to the receded gum.

How to stop brushing too hard

Manual toothbrush

  • choose soft bristles every time
  • stand in front of a mirror and watch how you’re brushing
  • be mindful when brushing, turn off any distractions and think of how much pressure you’re using when brushing
  • when brushing use a small round motion and gently massage your gums

Powered toothbrush

  • let it do the work for you. You simply run it along your teeth, never push it into the teeth or use the manual toothbrush technique.


I treat many cases like this at Riverstone Family Dental.

If you need a caring dentist or a family dentist, call us on (02) 8678 3538.

We are located in Riverstone and are within 10 minutes from Rouse Hill, Vineyard, Schofields, The Ponds, Marsden Park and Box Hill.

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