SAVE YOUR GUMS
Our enamel is the hardest structure in the body and can withstand hard, over aggressive scrub brushing, but unfortunately our gums or gingiva can not. As a result in areas where you tend to put more pressure while brushing (often times your initial stroke on each side), the gums are slowly brushed away. The receding of the gums is a progressive condition that occurs gradually over the years. Gingival recession separates the teeth from the gums and is the exposure of the roots of the teeth caused by loss of the gum tissue. Gums do not grow back, so prevention is the key.
The next protective layer of the root is called cementum. The cementum is a thin, soft and porous, light yellow layer and forms along a tooth's root. This layer is not designed to be exposed inside the mouth. When cementum is exposed through gingival recession, it quickly undergoes abrasion by mechanical friction (brushing) because it contains a low mineral content and is extremely thin. Loss of the cementum exposes the next protective layer called dentin.
The dentin contains thousands of microscopic tubules leading to the the tooth's pulp. When exposed to the elements, these dental tubules allow hot, cold, sweet, and acidic's to reach the nerves inside the tooth, causing sensitivity and pain. This is called dentinal hypersensitivity. Gum recession may go unnoticed until the condition starts to cause symptoms.
And because the dentin is softer than enamel, if you continue to brush hard, in some cases you will eventually notch the root area. Like wittling a piece of wood. This is visible on the darker root surfaces in the picture. But, making sure this area stays free from plaque is super important because root decay is more susceptible. Root decay spreads faster than normal cavities because the dentin is softer than enamel.
#1 cause of sensitivity
If you don't know if your a hard brusher, just check-out your toothbrush. Are the bristles bent outward? How long does a new toothbrush typically last you? Are you sensitive where the tooth and gums meet? Can you see a color change by the gums?
If we know over-aggressive or hard brushing results in irreversible receding gums, thus leading to sensitivity and possibly root decay, then why can't we stop pushing so hard?
Because brushing is a habit. Its repetitive. Something you do every day, the same way. Scrub brushing is a habit you formed long ago. Most people assume the harder you push, the cleaner your teeth will be. Not true at all. The harder you push the less your using the important part of the bristles, the end tufts. Think about using a brush to clean your kitchen sink. If you push the bristles down hard and flatten them are you cleaning better versus using the bristle tips. The magic is in the bristles ends. Lighten up!
To help break you of this bad habit the Fits has a built in warning system. When your pushing too hard, the handle will flex, warning and reminding you to not push hard. Soft, light, and gentle strokes will get your teeth their cleanest. You will train yourself to brush properly within just a few times of brushing with the FitsBrush!
Finally, a solution for hard, aggressive brushers. A handle that perfectly flexes to warn you when to much pressure is applied, reminding you not to push too hard when brushing. I know this from personal experience, because I was a hard brusher.
break your bad habit
Does the recessed area need treatment?
The severity of your gum recession will determine if treatment is necessary. Not everyone will experience symptoms like sensitivity, but many times is the result. Switching your daily toothpaste to one that contains potassium nitrate, will help build a soothing protection by desensitizing the nerves inside the tooth.
In more advanced cases of recession, a connective-tissue graft is needed. In this surgical procedure, a flap of skin is removed from the roof of the mouth (palate) and stitched to the gum tissue surrounding the exposed root. This procedure is generally performed by a Periodontist, a dentist who specializes in gum treatment.
Try a FitsBrush today and break your hard brushing habit!