Regular brushing and flossing in addition to yearly cleanings by your dentist is necessary to maintain the health of your teeth and gums. Poor dental care leads to a number of problems which will pose challenges for brushing your teeth; indeed, your daily dental care regimen may cause or prevent many issues from gum disease and enamel erosion to gingivitis. Some patients even suffer from crowded teeth, require orthodontic treatments, or are dealing with erupting wisdom teeth, all conditions that further complicate the process of brushing your healthy teeth.
Gum disease, enamel erosion, and gingivitis are three common conditions that affect adult teeth and gums, and all are preventable. While gum disease is a blanket term that may be applied to gingivitis, it is also known as periodontitis. Gingivitis is the mildest form of gum teeth whitening disease, but can still pose significant problems with regards to brushing your teeth. Gingivitis causes the gums to become red and swollen and subsequently to bleed more easily. Brushing your teeth when you suffer from gingivitis can cause mild discomfort; yet in more severe cases of gingivitis, teeth become mobile as bone support is lost due to bone resorption (the bone in the jaw is broken down) and teeth may become sensitive as roots are exposed.
Left untreated, gingivitis leads to a more advanced and serious condition known as periodontitis. Plaque builds up on the teeth and spreads below the gum line. Consequently, bacteria that live in the plaque release toxins that activate a chronic inflammatory response that leads to the break-down of bone and tissues supporting the teeth. Abscesses form in the gaps between the teeth and gums and as periodontitis progresses teeth may need to be removed.
Furthermore, enamel erosion will further complicate the process of brushing your teeth. Exposure to acidic foods and drinks such as soft drinks, fruit drinks, and high sugar or high starch foods can cause enamel erosion. Similarly, dry mouth, acid reflux disease, gastrointestinal problems, and even some medications have been associated with enamel erosion. This condition has a number of effects on your teeth and dental health. Your teeth may become sensitive to certain foods as well as hot and cold temperatures leading to pain; teeth may become discolored; teeth are more susceptible to cracks and chips; and indentations may also form on the surface of teeth. Enamel erosion also makes your teeth more susceptible to cavities and tooth decay.
Fortunately, gum disease, enamel erosion and gingivitis are entirely preventable. Along with a healthy brushing and flossing schedule, regular dental visits for proper hygienist cleanings can ensure that your teeth and gums remain healthy. Yet while gingivitis is a reversible condition achieved through proper brushing and regular dental checkups and cleanings, severe gum disease (periodontitis) and enamel erosion are usually permanent conditions. Individuals suffering from gum disease will need to consult with a dentist for thorough cleanings and may even require gum surgery to reduce gum pockets and treat bone defects. Brushing teeth with enamel erosion can be very painful, so you will need to visit your dentist to prevent the progress of erosion. Again, regular cleanings to remove plaque will minimize sensitivity and your dentist can recommend a professional desensitizing gel to reduce sensitivity. In addition, your dentist may recommend varnish applications and can give you more tips, such as using toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth and a soft tooth brush to reduce the pain associated with brushing teeth.