180 Hwy 35
Red Bank, NJ 07701
562 Route 35
Red Bank, NJ 07701-5066
Levi, Jack D.D.S.
289 Washington Ave
Dumont, NJ, 07628-2313
Wang, Alex W D.D.S.
1077 E Chestnut Ave
Vineland, NJ, 08360-5840
Berkman, Sheldon S D.D.S.
2999 Princeton Pike # 4
Lawrenceville, NJ, 08648-3261
Millward, Edward M D.D.S.
4 Bridge Plaza Dr # 4
Manalapan, NJ, 07726-1747
Recently, the issue of over brushing and its direct link to tooth abrasion has been a topic in many journal and news articles. A story in The Wall Street Journal (dated February 4, 2000) stated that in many cases, "the culprit in toothbrush abrasion is the toothbrush itself." This issue is particularly important because people can damage healthy teeth and gums by brushing too hard, oftentimes with a medium- or hard-bristled toothbrush. In fact, dentists and representatives of the American Dental Association have recommended for years that people use a soft-bristled toothbrush for their dental care.
Our teeth and gums are susceptible to wear and tear like all other parts of our bodies. In cases of improper brushing, such as brushing too vigorously, gum tissue can be worn away. Receding gums then lead to other significant dental problems such as sensitive teeth, periodontal disease, cavities, root canals, and potentially removal of teeth.
Solutions to brushing too hard and causing tooth abrasion include adjusting the angle of your toothbrush (it should be at a 45-degree angle), lessening the amount of pressure you use, monitoring the length of time, as well as making sure that you are using a soft-bristled toothbrush. In addition, always ask your dentist for specific recommendations related to your oral health care.
While the potential harm to teeth and gums through over brushing is significant, an even greater percentage of the population suffers damage to their teeth from occlusion (bad bite), genetic factors, and poor overall dental hygiene. It is critical to carefully maintain and monitor your oral health. The best approach to maintaining good oral health is to brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush to prevent tooth abrasion with fluoride toothpaste, floss or clean between the teeth using an interdental cleaner (special brushes, picks or sticks), and visit your dentist every six months. Follow your dentist's advice with regard to any changes to this regimen.
By Brian J. Gray, DDS, MAGD, FICO
An aching tooth you get from a cavity is no fun, but it's something that can be easily seen and quickly solved. Unfortunately, toothaches also stem from problems that aren't so easily recognized.
Tooth pain can be a little like that weird noise your car engine makes but always disappears the moment you drive it into the repair shop.
A tooth that aches only in the morning may be the result of overnight tooth grinding (bruxism). Bruxism is quite common, and has the potential of deteriorating tooth enamel. But it's also treatable. Occasionally a patient will experience some hot/cold sensitivity after a new filling or crown. That's normal, and should go away after a few days. If it doesn't, the problem may lie elsewhere. And we want to know about it.
There's also pain from "root surface sensitivity." This can result from years of brushing teeth too hard, "heartburn acid" which enters the mouth overnight and attacks the enamel of your teeth, receding gums, or periodontal pockets of infection. A toothache may even be the result of a microscopic crack in a molar. These pains are not easy to pinpoint, and often require that you and I work together to help determine the actual cause.
And, yes, toothaches come from decay. But whatever the reason, if you're experiencing tooth discomfort, call the dentist so we can help you solve the mystery of an achy tooth. With all the resources at our disposal, an aching tooth is something no one should have to live with.