Bad Habits That Can Damage Dental And Oral Health

Posted by Peak City Family Dentistry on Nov 15 2022, 09:18 PM

Maintaining proper oral health is important not only for your teeth and gums but for your general health as well. With good oral hygiene, you can avoid cavities, gum disease, and other dental problems. However, there are certain habits that can harm the health of our teeth and gums. Here are some of them.

  • Smoking

Smoking is bad for your teeth and your overall health. It can cause tooth discoloration and increase your risk of developing oral cancer. It can also affect gum tissue health and cause painful sores around the gums. Smokers are also more likely to have gum disease and lose their teeth prematurely. Your dentist can talk to you more about quitting smoking and how doing so can benefit your health. See your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings to keep your oral health in tip-top shape.

  • Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding occurs during sleep when the upper and lower jaw are clenched together and moves side to side or forward and backward repeatedly. This can cause damage to tooth enamel and break down the protective layer called dentin. The symptoms of teeth grinding include the following:

  • Worn-down teeth, causing spaces between the teeth to appear
  • Mouth pain upon waking up in the morning
  • Chronic headaches and migraines
  • Jaw pain
  • Weakened bite
  • Earaches and facial pain
  • Other symptoms due to stress caused by teeth grinding, such as insomnia

Most people who grind their teeth do so unconsciously while they are asleep. This is typically referred to as "sleep bruxism." However, some people may suffer from bruxism during the day because of stress and anxiety. If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to your dentist about options to help you correct the problem. You can also ask your dentist for a recommendation on an oral appliance like a night guard that can treat bruxism while sleeping.

  • Chewing Ice

Chewing on ice can cause tooth fractures and damage the enamel. The cold temperature of ice causes the blood vessels in the gums to shrink, creating less blood flow to the gum tissue when temperatures return to normal. This reduction in blood flow deprives the tissues of essential nutrients and can cause pain and inflammation. Damaged or cracked teeth from chewing ice can lead to cavities over time. The roughness of the ice can also cause damage to the teeth and gums. These tiny scratches can create perfect hiding places for bacteria that can lead to tooth decay. While ice itself isn't harmful, it's strongly recommended that you avoid this bad habit to keep your mouth healthy! 

  • Using Teeth As Tools

Biting or chewing on inedible objects like pencils, pens, fingernails, etc., can fracture teeth and crack fillings. Doing so can also damage the soft tissue inside the mouth and cause cuts to the gums and cheek linings. Chewing on non-food items can damage the teeth's enamel, cause uneven wear, and lead to loose teeth.

  • Aggressive Brushing

While many people think that brushing harder is better for your teeth, this is not true at all. It can actually damage the gums and cause them to recede over time. When you brush too hard, you can push the gum tissue down, and that can expose the root of the tooth. This can cause sensitivity or make them more susceptible to tooth decay. If you notice bleeding when you brush your teeth, you might be brushing too hard. Try buying a toothbrush with a soft-bristled head to protect your teeth and gums.

Our team at Peak City Family Dentistry can offer you the best dental care in Apex, North Carolina. To schedule an appointment, call (919) 362-8797 or visit us at 200 W. Chatham St., Apex, NC 27502.

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200 W Chatham St., Apex 27502

Phone: (919) 362-8797

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Phone: (919) 362-8797