July 19th, 2018
I see a lot of adults for consultations in our practice. Many of them have gum recession, and some of them get sensitivity because too much of their root is exposed. I usually hear “My dental hygienist tells me that I brush too hard.” But the truth is, that isn’t always the case.
Did you know that the leading cause of gum recession isn’t brushing too hard? It is actually what you are putting on your toothbrush! Toothpaste has a variety of ingredients. Some of them help it taste better, some of them let it form that gel look, so it isn’t runny like water, and some of the ingredients help it get particles stuck to your teeth off. The part of the toothpaste that helps you cleanse your teeth is a light abrasive (almost like sandpaper). The stronger the abrasive ingredient, the more it scrubs your teeth – AND your gums away.
Toothpaste companies have gotten clever lately and know that everyone wants white teeth – they call their toothpastes all sort of cute names like “Bright White” and “Ultra-Whitening”. What they do to make these claims is actually just put a stronger abrasive unit in the toothpaste. This abrasive unit actually causes gum recession and sensitivity to your teeth. Put that on top of someone who had thin gums and bone from not receiving proper orthodontic care as a young child and you have a recipe for major gum recession.
Check out this chart below. If your toothpaste has an abrasivity index over 70 – it could be destroying your gums. Consider switching to one that has a milder abrasivity index score (under 70). This could not only save your gums but save your pocketbook thousands of dollars in unnecessary dental work and gum surgery later on!
~ Dr. Adam Daniels
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