Bad Habits: Little Things That Harm Your Smile

Posted by West Lake Dentistry Nov 30, 2022

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Our habits can have a big impact on our oral health. These habits can have a negative impact on our teeth, gums, and tongue. Listed below are a few bad habits that can negatively impact our oral health.

  • Nail Biting

When we bite our nails, we risk cracking or chipping a tooth. This habit can also damage the gum line and expose the roots of the teeth. As the root becomes exposed, the bone structure beneath is more likely to deteriorate as well. In some cases, we can even lose the tooth entirely. It’s important to stop this bad habit immediately. There are a number of relaxation techniques you can use to help break the habit, such as creative visualization. Meditating can also help as it will give you a few moments to clear your mind and relax your mind and body. You can also ask your dentist for tips to break the habit. They may be able to provide you with a bite guard that will prevent you from biting your nails when awake.

  • Smoking

Although it’s been proven that smoking can cause cancer, it can also cause gum disease and tooth loss. For people who smoke, the effects are twofold; not only do they suffer from lung and throat cancers, but they also have a higher risk of developing periodontal disease than non-smokers. The nicotine in cigarettes decreases the flow of blood to the gums and can interfere with the healing process after oral surgery or periodontal treatment. Nicotine also causes the blood vessels to shrink. If you are a smoker who suffers from a chronic disease like diabetes, you are at an even higher risk of contracting periodontitis. Additionally, your gums will recede faster since smoking causes your jawbone to deteriorate. Gum recession can lead to tooth sensitivity, decay, and even tooth loss. If you have the habit, quit it for good. 

  • Aggressive Toothbrushing

Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day is crucial for avoiding oral health issues like cavities and gum disease. However, even though brushing and flossing are so important, doing it aggressively can do more harm than good. Vigorously scrubbing your teeth can actually damage your enamel, which will eventually weaken your gums as well. Enamel erosion can also lead to sensitivity or pain when you have hot or cold foods or beverages. So, ensure that you brush your teeth gently using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. If you have noticed that you have sensitive teeth and you brush your teeth vigorously on a regular basis, consider visiting your dentist for an exam. Your dentist will be able to tell if you are suffering from over-aggressive tooth brushing or if you are suffering from something more serious like gum disease.

  • Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Bruxism is a medical term used for a behavior where a person grinds his or her teeth together involuntarily while sleeping or consciously throughout the day. This can cause severe damage to a patient’s teeth and jaw if left untreated. It can lead to chipping or fracture of the teeth and cause enamel erosion. If patients are suffering from bruxism, they should talk to their doctor about their symptoms. The doctor may suggest you wear a nightguard to prevent any damage to the teeth. 

  • Not Visiting The Dentist Regularly

The most obvious bad habit that can damage oral health is procrastination when it comes to going to a dentist. Dental checkups and teeth cleanings are important to keep most dental problems at bay. In addition, regular preventive care appointments allow our dentists to identify potential complications in our health before they even arise. This means that patients have to deal less with the painful symptoms and consequences of these issues. 

To find out more about good oral care habits, call 704-483-1870 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit us at 298 N. Hwy 16 Suite E, Denver, NC 28037.

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