Why Does Brushing My Teeth Hurt?

Dr. Nate tackles a frequently asked question from his patients, “Why does brushing my teeth hurt?”


DR. NATE: Hi, I’m Dr. Nate, and I want to talk about your oral health and what you can do to improve your oral health, which will ultimately improve your overall health.  One of the biggest questions that I get asked as a practicing dentist is: “Why do my teeth hurt when I brush them?”  And I think that’s a great question because when you start looking at those things and if your teeth are hurting when you brush them, that’s not normal.  That’s not something that you want to have.  So let’s look at some of the things that cause teeth and gum problems and pain when you brush them.

First of all, the biggest thing we look at as dentists is what kind of toothbrush are you using.  If you’re using a hard toothbrush with hard bristles or even a medium toothbrush, that can cause sensitivity and ultimately lead to pain because you might be brushing too hard and causing problems.  We recommend a soft toothbrush to all of our patients, and I think most dentists would agree with that.  The second thing that you could have going on in your mouth is cavities.  If you haven’t been to a dentist in a long time, I’d recommend that you have your mouth checked out at least every six months if not sooner if you’re having pain in your mouth when you brush your teeth.

Cavities can go in and cause a big problem, and when you brush your teeth the toothpaste or the action of the toothbrush can cause a lot of pain when you brush.  So you want to get those checked out.  And finally, what you put in your mouth can cause problems because you could have a high acid content, and if you have those cavities or you have got recession where your gums have pulled a little bit back away from your tooth and that’s not normal, you can get sensitivity because of the plaque buildup that comes on your teeth.  And you try to take it off, but you just can’t take it off without a professional cleaning.

So those are some of the things that can cause you to have sensitivity when you brush your teeth.  I hope that answers some of your questions.  We hope to be back with you regularly.  And just remember, the world is always brighter with a smile.

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