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This week’s question comes from one of our Twitter followers @gotspawn also known as Stashia. She asked "Why are my gums receding, was it really from using a medium toothbrush for so many years?"

Our Smile Generation expert, Dr. Charles Rodgers, replied:

"There are a large number of different reasons why gums will recede. Using a particular type of toothbrush for a time period can contribute to this. Typically a hard brush will have more impact than a medium brush. Ironically, even a soft brush can contribute to this, because it is also a matter of brushing style and pressure exerted as well as the stiffness of the bristles. A bigger concern for most dentists and their patients is the wear on the teeth themselves from the hard and medium brushes. Over time, and with side to side brushing, a notch can actually be worn into the teeth at or below where the gum line was. This happens most often on the canines (cuspids – the pointy eye teeth) and the teeth right behind these called the premolars (also called bicuspids). These may become sensitive and if large enough, usually need to be filled, although not truly a decay type of cavity. In fact we call them abrasions, since they have been worn down from brushing." Dr. Rodgers adds, " Now, even though I’ve said all this, don’t give up on brushing. The benefits of brushing far outweigh the negatives, and with proper brushing, the risk of damage is minimal."

Thank you very much Dr. Rodgers! Post your questions on our Facebook page or email us at Subject line: Ask a Dentist