The Dental Blog of Bradely J. Olson, DDS

Loss of Tooth Structure

I referred to an article by Dr. Thomas Abrahamsen in a previous Blog related to loss of tooth structure and sensitivity. I had never heard the term “toothpaste abuse”, but he makes a strong argument for his findings related to overzealous brushing. Dr. Abrahamsen has studied dental casts since 1972 and detects toothpaste abuse when there is a sandblasted effect on the dental casts that translate to smooth, polished, glossy affected surfaces in the mouth. He believes that these patients typically do not like the color of their teeth and feel the more they brush, the whiter their teeth will become. Toothpastes have abrasives to help remove stain but do not “whiten” teeth. Actually, the opposite is true. As the enamel is worn thinner, the darker color of the underlying tooth structure, called dentin, will show more prominently. Of course, toothbrushing tools and style are major contributing factors as well. The use of hard, non-rounded, unpolished bristles can contribute to gum recession and potential sensitivity of exposed root surface.

Armed with this information, it is important that our patients know how to brush, what products to use, and what tools to most effectively maintain a healthy and bright smile. We look forward to sharing this information with you at your next visit. If you are not a patient, know that we are happily accepting new patients.

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