Unhealthy Habits That Can Put Your Oral Health At Risk

Unhealthy Habits That Can Put Your Oral Health At Risk

Oral health is very important for our overall health as well. Regular visits to the dentist can help prevent dental problems and keep your mouth healthy. Our dentists are experts at identifying and treating dental problems. However, there are some habits that can badly affect our oral health. Listed below are some common bad habits that can damage our oral health.

  • Nail Biting

Nail biting is a bad habit that damages our oral health in two major ways. First, it can wear down tooth enamel over time, resulting in increased sensitivity. It can also cause cracks and chips in the teeth and even cause tooth loss. Additionally, when bacteria build up in the mouth as a result of nail biting, it can cause gum disease, cavities, and bad breath. We recommend trying things like wearing a mouth guard at night if you bite your nails or using a polish to cover them on your hands if you find yourself picking at them during the day.

  • Smoking

Cigarettes are considered one of the greatest threats to your oral and overall health. They contain nicotine which is highly toxic to your body. It causes serious adverse effects on your health, like lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, respiratory diseases, etc. Dental problems caused by smoking include oral cancer, tooth decay, stained or discolored teeth, bad breath, receding gums, gum disease, tooth loss, and more. The risks of heart attack increase by six times in smokers when compared to non-smokers. This is because of the toxins present in cigarettes which affect the blood vessels of the heart and also damage the nerve endings present in the mouth due to smoking. It also leads to the loss of calcium from the body, which causes the weakening of bones. So, quit smoking as soon as possible to avoid such severe adverse health effects on your oral and overall health.

  • Brushing Teeth Aggressively

Many people try to be thorough when brushing their teeth. However, it is important to brush gently to prevent damaging the gums and enamel. Vigorous brushing can lead to gum recession, tooth sensitivity, and even tooth loss. If your gums bleed or hurt after brushing your teeth, this is a sign that you are being too aggressive with your toothbrush. Try using a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle circular motions to effectively clean your smile without harming your teeth and gums.

  • Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding is a habit that often occurs at night when we sleep. It can be the result of stress or anxiety. If you experience chronic jaw pain or headaches when you wake in the morning, you may be one of the millions of Americans who grind their teeth in their sleep.

If you are unable to stop grinding your teeth in your sleep, it can lead to a number of serious dental health problems. It can wear down your enamel, leading to tooth decay. The wearing away of enamel also exposes the underlying dentin layer of the tooth, which can also become damaged with long-term teeth grinding. When dentin is exposed, teeth are more susceptible to sensitivity and decay. If left untreated, tooth loss can occur. You may also be at risk for the temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). This can result in pain in the jaw area, difficulty opening and closing your mouth, and a popping sound when you chew and speak.

Your dentist can create a custom night guard for your teeth that will protect your smile from the effects of teeth grinding. The night guard is made of comfortable and soft material that sits over your teeth while you sleep. It cushions the teeth and absorbs the impact of grinding. It is custom-made to fit your mouth perfectly so that you can still breathe through your nose and not make chewing motions while wearing the night guard.

  • Using Teeth as Tools

When we use our teeth for anything other than eating food, we’re putting our teeth at risk. The force from biting down too hard on objects can damage the enamel on our teeth and cause chips and cracks. If left untreated, these chips and cracks can lead to infection and tooth loss. So, stop using your teeth to open packages, tear plastic, etc.

To learn more, please schedule an appointment online or call us at (480) 838-8558 and have a consultation with Dr. Christopher Payne. We will be happy to help.

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Mesa, AZ 85202

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