Bad Habits That Can Damage Oral Health

Bad Habits That Can Damage Oral Health

Posted by Dr. Pittman on Nov 9 2022, 10:51 PM

Good oral hygiene is important for keeping teeth healthy and strong. It prevents tooth decay and gum disease, which are common dental problems. It also prevents other, possibly serious, dental health issues. However, certain habits can damage our oral health and cause dental issues. Here are some of them.

  • Tobacco use

Smoking is the leading cause of oral cancers, and it’s also a major risk factor for periodontal disease. This is because smoking makes it harder for the body to fight infections, including infections of the mouth. While quitting tobacco is the best way to avoid these conditions, if you do happen to notice signs of damage, don’t worry; our dentists can help reverse existing damage to your teeth and gums and help you begin down the path to a healthier smile. 

  • Nail biting

If you bite your nails, it’s time to stop! Biting your nails can cause tooth damage in addition to the germs and bacteria that get trapped under your fingernails. If you can’t kick the habit yourself, talk to your dentist about ways to quit. They can recommend products that can help, such as stress balls or chewing gum. They can also talk with you about the emotional reasons why you bite your nails. Once those reasons have been addressed, you can work on quitting the habit for good.

  • Teeth grinding

Grinding teeth at night, also called bruxism, can be caused by stress and can lead to chipped or worn-down teeth. A dentist can help you discover the cause and provide treatment to help you stop this bad habit.

If you grind your teeth and notice any of the following symptoms, it’s time to schedule a visit with your dentist:

  • Headaches in the morning
  • Cracked or chipped teeth
  • Worn down enamel
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Inflamed gums that bleed easily
  • Sore jaw muscles from clenching
  • Loosening of a tooth’s structure

Your dentist can give you a custom nightguard to wear over your bottom teeth while you sleep to prevent you from grinding. This will prevent further damage to your smile.

  • Chewing on ice or hard candy

Hard candy, ice, and other crunchy foods may damage your teeth. Tougher foods like these can stick in the cracks and crevices of your molars and hide some of the bacteria that lead to gum disease. When you eat these foods, they may not actually cause pain right away; however, they can cause long-term damage to your oral health by damaging the enamel on your teeth. In some cases, this may even lead to tooth loss from the affected tooth. You can prevent this issue by not crunching down on these inedible substances. Try to eat softer foods such as bananas, apples, or celery instead. 

  • Brushing too aggressively

Some patients brush their teeth so forcefully that it causes damage to their enamel and gums. If you brush your teeth with too much pressure, you could wear down your teeth and gums, causing teeth sensitivity, discoloration, and other dental concerns. If you have the habit of aggressive brushing, speak with your dentist and choose a soft-bristled toothbrush.

If you want to learn more tips to maintain good oral health, schedule a consultation at Dental SPA by calling (407) 330-3601. You can also visit our dental office located at 205 Towne Center Blvd, Sanford, FL 32771, for all your dental concerns. 

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205 Towne Center Blvd, Sanford, FL 32771

Phone: (407) 330-3601

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