If something becomes dirty, you wash it. If it's stained, you scrub it. It's understandable why some people think that being rougher and firmer while brushing their gums is a way to be more thorough in removing plaque and bacteria. But the reality is that if you're too rough with your gums, you may be doing more harm than good. Here's how.
The first thing to understand is that the gums are delicate. While they're strong at what they do - keeping out plaque and bacteria - they're essentially soft tissues. Imagine furiously scrubbing away at a single place on a baby's delicate skin, and you have an idea of what your gums are going through when you're too rough with them.
To make matters worse, gums that are infected or diseased are even more delicate. They bleed and bruise easily, meaning that what they really need is to be treated more gently than ever, not rougher.
If you're brushing your gums particularly hard, chances are that your teeth are taking some of the brunt of it, too. Dental enamel is tough, but it's not unimpenetrable. If you're too rough with your teeth and gums, you may very well end up damaging this precious enamel, which doesn't grow back. Once it's gone, it's gone, and the tooth becomes much more vulnerable to damage both from plaque and tartar and from simply brushing your teeth with too much pressure.
What to Do Instead
By now, it should be pretty clear that brushing with a lot of pressure isn't the way to go, whether your teeth and gums are unhealthy or healthy. Instead, do this.
First of all, if you think you have gum disease, you should get in touch with a dentist. If it's a more progressed form of gum disease, there's nothing you'll be able to do to control it or make it better at home. So it's best to have a dentist assess your teeth and gums and do what they can with a deep cleaning first and foremost.
Next, be extremely gentle with your gums. You only want the bristles to lightly touch them. If you're worried about your teeth and gums getting clean with so little pressure, increase the repetitions of actually brushing. More repetitions will get the job done better than pushing down too much and hurting yourself.
Gum disease and dental problems often get worse when people try to take their oral health into their own hands. Always consult with a dentist before changing up your oral health routine. Visit a dental care clinic to learn more.