Most of the habits we practice are unintentional and can have a negative impact on our oral health. Brushing teeth aggressively, using teeth as tools, and smoking are habits that have adverse effects on the health of our teeth. Nail biting, teeth grinding, and not visiting the dentist regularly also affect our oral health adversely.
If you bite your nails frequently, it can lead to several dental health issues, including chipped or cracked teeth, misaligned teeth, and tooth loss. In addition to tooth damage, biting nails can also cause complications with your oral health. If you frequently bite your nails, try to quit the habit.
Smoking is another habit that can cause a plethora of oral health issues. The nicotine and tar in cigarettes can cause bad breath and irritate your gums. When dried residue from cigarette smoke settles on the teeth, it can cause discoloration of the enamel, making your smile appear yellowed. It can also leave behind brown stains near the gum line. Additionally, the chemicals in smoke can also affect your gums, causing them to become irritated, and in some cases, gum disease can develop. Gum disease is a bacterial infection that can lead to bone infections and loss of teeth. In addition, it can cause oral cancer as well. Quitting will greatly improve your oral health! If you need help getting started, ask your dentist for advice on how to quit.
Brushing our teeth too forcefully can damage the enamel and expose sensitive layers of the teeth to bacteria. For example, with aggressive brushing, we can scrape or wear away the enamel, which protects the crown of the tooth. Enamel can also become thinner or more susceptible to damage over time. When the dentin is exposed, it can lead to pain when consuming hot or cold foods and beverages, as well as sensitivity. If the dentin is worn away completely, it can result in tooth erosion.
If you notice any increased sensitivity in the teeth after brushing, it could mean you are damaging your enamel. Use only a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush using gentle strokes.
Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a bad habit that can damage your oral health and your smile. It can even wear down your teeth or cause other damage like breaking your jaw. If you notice yourself clenching or grinding your teeth at night, talk to your dentist about a treatment plan that can help you stop this bad habit. A mouth guard can help keep your upper and lower teeth from touching one another and can help you protect your mouth from damage caused by bruxism. Wearing a custom-fitted mouthguard can also help keep your teeth and jaws in their proper positions, preventing damage to surrounding muscles or soft tissues.
There are plenty of situations when we use our teeth inappropriately. For example, if you’re trying to open a jar of peanut butter or unscrew a bottle cap, you may be tempted to use your teeth as a tool to get the job done. Avoid doing that at all costs. This bad habit can lead to chipped teeth, damaged fillings, and even lost crown and veneer.
Schedule an appointment with Austgen Family Dental to learn more about oral care. We are at 1405 W County Line Rd, Suite A, Greenwood, IN 46142. Contact us at (317) 885-6400 or visit our website to book an appointment.