Ways That Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Could Be Harmful To Your Dental Health

Dentist Blog

The mental health issue of obsessive compulsive disorder is something that many people experience to varying degrees. While you might joke that you have OCD when it comes to keeping your desk organized, the reality is that some people who struggle with OCD experience this condition largely taking over their lives. When speaking to a family doctor or mental health professional is important, you'll also want to consider what your OCD might be doing to your dental health. Regular dental checkups will be critical for you, because one habit that some people with OCD have is to obsessively brush their teeth. Here are some problems that this habit can create.

Gum Recession

While there's little question that frequently brushing your teeth can be a good thing, those who have OCD often take this healthy habit too far. Someone with OCD may brush his or her teeth a considerable number of times a day, and this could result in gum recession. If the bristles of your toothbrush are making countless strokes over your gums every day, the gums can begin to recede. Receding gums can increase your risk of numerous dental problems, including cavities and sensitivity, because the parts of your teeth that used to be under your gums are now exposed.

Gum Irritation

Brushing your teeth excessively can also cause considerable irritation in your gums. Multiple brush strokes with your toothbrush can cause your gums to become raw, much in the same manner as any repetitive motion anywhere in your body can result in discomfort. When you have raw spots on your gums, you're not only dealing with constant pain — you're also looking at a risk of infection from the bacteria in your mouth.

Worn-Down Tooth Enamel

When you brush your teeth at a reasonable amount, you'll remove bacteria to help keep the tooth enamel healthy. When you brush excessively, however, you may end up wearing down this enamel. The durability of tooth enamel means that you aren't going to wear it down after just a few heavy brushing sessions, but if your OCD has resulted in you brushing your teeth several times a day and you've had this habit for a considerable amount of time, you could be looking at the loss of tooth enamel in the future. A breakdown in the enamel leaves you susceptible to cavities. Seeing your dentist regularly will help him or her to catch these issues and treat them promptly.

Contact a dentist, like Dr. Jon Douglas Lesan, DDS, RpH, PA, to schedule an appointment.


3 March 2019