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Bad Habits that are Damaging Your Oral Health

Bad Habits that are Damaging Your Oral Health

Nail biting, smoking, brushing teeth aggressively, teeth grinding, using teeth as tools, not visiting the dentist regularly, etc., are all bad habits that can cause damage to our oral health. Read on to learn more.

  • Nail Biting

Nail biting is a destructive habit that can lead to cosmetic issues and tooth damage. Not only is it unsightly to see someone constantly chewing on their fingernails, but it can lead to severe problems with one’s smile. Most commonly, this bad habit causes enamel erosion, which weakens the tooth and can lead to the development of cavities. A damaged tooth is also more at risk for breaking or sustaining further damage.

  • Smoking

Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco contain chemicals that can damage the mouth’s soft tissues. These include tar, nicotine, arsenic, and other cancer-causing substances. People who smoke frequently are more likely to suffer from mouth sores, gum disease, tooth discoloration, and tooth loss. Smokers are also more likely to develop oral cancer than nonsmokers.

Smoking is a risk factor for many diseases and health conditions, including heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, pulmonary disease, diabetes, infertility, and more. Quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do to protect your oral health as well as your overall health.

  • Aggressive Brushing

When brushing your teeth, it is important to be gentle to avoid damaging your teeth and gums. Using too much pressure when brushing can cause your gums to recede and damage your teeth. Additionally, aggressive brushing can lead to enamel erosion. Over time, this can wear down your tooth enamel and cause small pits to form on the surface of your teeth. If left untreated, the holes can become bigger over time and may require a restorative treatment, such as a filling or dental crown.

In addition to wearing away tooth enamel, aggressive brushing can also lead to gum recession and root exposure. Gum recession is a condition in which the soft tissues around your teeth pull away from your teeth. This is a common side effect of aggressive brushing because it wears away the tissue around your teeth. You can usually tell if your gums have receded because your teeth will appear longer than normal. If you suffer from receding gums, your dentist may recommend periodontal treatment to rebuild the areas that have been damaged.

Toothbrushes with soft bristles are usually recommended for people who have sensitive teeth because they are less likely to cause damage to the teeth. A soft-bristled toothbrush can effectively remove plaque and debris from the mouth without causing pain. 

  • Teeth Grinding

When we sleep, our jaws absorb the shock of that movement through temporomandibular joints (TMJs) located on each side of the head. When these joints are strained for a prolonged period of time, they can become inflamed and eventually wear away their cartilage tissue. This can lead to facial pain and headaches as well as clicking or popping of the jaw when opening the mouth. Ultimately, this damage can lead to more severe complications like tooth misalignment and tooth loss.

Bruxism is a condition where a person unconsciously grinds or clenches the teeth together. The medical term for this condition is “tooth clenching.” This can cause dental trauma in the form of broken teeth and misaligned teeth. It can also trigger pain around the entire mouth due to overworking the jaw muscles. Over time, chronic bruxism can even damage the TMJ entirely.

It’s important to visit a dental office if you think you might be suffering from bruxism in order to treat your teeth and prevent other oral health problems. Your dentist can fit you with a night guard, which protects your teeth from nighttime grinding. They can also provide you with additional tips and techniques that might help you quit your bad habit.

  • Using Teeth as Tools

Do you have the habit of using your teeth as a tool? Using teeth to open packages and bottles or cutting things open like plastic packaging or tape can cause chipping or cracking of the teeth. This can cause pain and make it difficult to eat and speak properly until the tooth is fixed. Remember that your teeth are meant for chewing food and talking and not for use as tools.

When it comes to your dental health, it’s better to be safe than sorry! Avoid breaking or damaging your tooth by using it as a tool.

  • Not Visiting the Dentist Regularly

People who do not visit their dentists for regular checkups are more likely to get cavities and gum diseases. Dentists can detect problems in their early stages and prevent these issues from getting out of hand. Dentists also detect oral cancers during their routine checkups. People also tend to ignore small problems in their mouth, such as tooth sensitivity and bleeding gums which can become bigger issues later on. This is why it is important to visit your dentist every six months for a routine exam.

To learn more about our dental services, call Texas Sage Dentistry at (972) 562-0197 to schedule your one-on-one consultation with top McKinney, TX dentist Dr. Barret Davidson today!

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