5 Bad Habits That Can Damage Your Dental Health

5 Bad Habits That Can Damage Your Dental Health

Oral health is important not only for a person's cosmetic appearance but also for maintaining overall health. As our smile is one of the first features people notice about us, it is important to maintain a healthy smile. However, some of our daily habits can damage our smile. Here are a few such habits:

  • Nail Biting

Nail biting isn't just a bad habit for your fingernails – it can also cause significant damage to your teeth and your oral health overall. You might bite your nails when you're nervous or bored, but there's a reason why nail-biting is a bad habit! It can cause your teeth to become damaged and shortened, leading to dental issues later on in life. Biting your nails can also cause damage to your teeth's enamel. The surface of your teeth is where tooth enamel begins, and it helps protect the teeth from damage. When you bite your nails, you're placing a lot of force on your front teeth, which can cause them to break. With broken front teeth, you might experience pain or other issues with your bite that can lead to more dental problems. 

In addition to breaking or chipping teeth, nail biting can also wear down your tooth enamel over time. Your tooth enamel is the protective outer layer of your teeth, so it's important to keep it strong and healthy. Worn-down tooth enamel can lead to cavities and other tooth-related issues.

When you bite your nails, it can cause chips and cracks on the front teeth near the cuticle. This can lead to both cosmetic issues and issues with the way that you bite. 

Aside from the immediate damage that nail biting can do to your teeth, there are also other long-term consequences that you need to keep in mind too. For instance, if your teeth become worn down due to nail biting, you may find that you need fillings or other dental services. If you have the habit of nail-biting, quit it at the earliest.

  • Smoking

Smoking is one of the worst habits for your teeth because it can cause serious oral problems. People who smoke are three times more likely to lose their teeth than nonsmokers. And it's not just smokers that are at risk. Secondhand smoke can also hurt your oral health. When you inhale the smoke from someone else's cigarette or cigar, you are inhaling nicotine and carbon monoxide into your lungs. The toxins affect how much oxygen your blood can carry and the number of white blood cells you have in your immune system. This weakens your body's ability to heal itself, including your mouth. It also increases your chances of developing gum disease. In fact, people who have smoked cigarettes in the past are more likely to suffer from gum disease and lose their teeth compared to people who never smoked. Tobacco users are also more likely to get oral cancer. This disease generally affects the tongue, lips, or the floor of the mouth. Symptoms may include pain, sores, bleeding, or numbness.

So if you have any bad habits related to your oral health, you may want to give them up now before it's too late. If you want to know what you can do instead, contact your dentist. He or she can help you get started on your journey to better oral health today!

  • Brushing Teeth Aggressively

Brushing teeth too vigorously can damage your enamel and irritate your gums. This can cause the gums to become tender and bleed easily. It can also erode tooth structure. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently in small circles for two minutes twice a day. Replace your toothbrush every three months. If you experience bleeding after brushing your teeth, visit your dentist as soon as possible. Gum disease can also cause gum bleeding as well.

  • Teeth Grinding

Most patients don't even realize they grind their teeth until they're told about it by their dentists or friends. So how do you know if you grind your teeth? Well, if you're waking up with headaches and sore jaw muscles, you're probably grinding your teeth at night. Your partner may also tell you that you grind your teeth when you're asleep. Other symptoms of bruxism include broken or damaged tooth enamel, sensitive teeth, chipped or broken teeth, receding gums, loose teeth, cracked fillings, or even an indentation in your tongue from constantly pressing it against your front teeth.

One potential treatment for teeth grinding may be to wear a custom mouth guard while you sleep. Although this may not stop you from grinding altogether, it will prevent you from being woken up in the middle of the night by a throbbing jaw or that intense headache. If you suspect that you grind your teeth at night, ask your dentist about a mouth guard to help protect your teeth.

  • Using Teeth As Tools

Your teeth are for chewing and tearing food apart only! Never use them to pry open packages or cut the tape and other sticky items. This habit can cause your teeth to crack or become dislodged. It can also damage fillings and crowns. If one of these breaks, you could need advanced restorative care like root canal therapy or extraction.

To learn more, call Phoenix Family Dentistry at (602) 755-6684 for an appointment in our Phoenix office.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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