Do you grind your teeth or bite your nails? These are bad habits that can damage your teeth and gums. Other bad habits, such as smoking, can also impact your oral health. Read our blog post to learn more about these bad habits and how they can negatively impact your oral health.
Cigarette smoke contains many harmful chemicals that can irritate or inflame the lining of the throat, leading to soreness and inflammation. In addition, it can cause dry mouth, which can lead to tooth decay and bad breath. Smokers are two times more likely than nonsmokers to have serious gum disease that can require surgery or even lead to tooth loss over time. They can also have an increased risk of developing oral cancer. Lastly, it can discolor the teeth and lead to bad breath. But the good news is that quitting reduces these risks and improves oral health.
Many people grind their teeth from time to time. However, if you experience it regularly or wake to a sore jaw every morning, this could be a sign of bruxism. Teeth grinding can lead to a number of tooth and gum problems, including headaches, worn teeth, and cracked fillings. Left untreated, it can lead to loose teeth and, eventually, tooth loss. If you suspect you suffer from bruxism, it’s important to discuss it with your dentist so they can help diagnose the cause and provide treatment. Your dentist may prescribe a mouthguard to wear at night to prevent you from grinding your teeth while you sleep. Sleeping with a mouthguard can also help relieve any tension you may be experiencing in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
Many people chew on ice or hard candy to relieve an aching mouth. But this act can cause chips or cracks in your teeth. In addition to chipping a tooth, you also run the risk of breaking an existing filling, crown, or other restoration. It can also cause soreness in your jaw joint and other teeth issues. So, if you have the habit of chewing ice, stop it at the earliest.
Nail biting is a common habit that can damage your teeth. The urges to bite down are often caused by stress or anxiety. Biting down on your nails can chip and break enamel, leading to sensitivity and pain while eating hot and cold foods. Nail biting can also damage the gums and lead to bleeding and inflammation. This habit can also lead to mouth sores and permanent tooth damage. If you notice any of these symptoms, talk to your dentist about stopping the habit of nail-biting as soon as possible.
Many people use their teeth as a tool without even realizing it. We might not even realize that we are harming our teeth when we use teeth as tools for cracking nuts, removing bottle caps, or opening packages. These acts can cause chips, cracks, broken fillings, and other damage that can require restorative dental treatments. The next time you need to open a package or remove a bottle cap, use a tool made specifically for that purpose – your teeth will thank you!
For more tips and comprehensive dental care, visit Uptown Smiles at 601 NW 23rd St Suite #200, Oklahoma City, OK 73103. Call us at (405) 702-7766 for appointments.