There are some bad oral habits that may lead to the development of oral diseases. For instance, bad habits like smoking, drinking, and chewing tobacco can negatively affect your oral health. These habits increase your risk of developing dental issues like tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. Here are a few habits that can harm our oral health.
If you wake up with jaw discomfort or notice your teeth are worn down, you might be suffering from bruxism, the unconscious habit of clenching and grinding the teeth. Over time, this can cause teeth to become shorter, sensitive, cracked, or even loose. If you suspect you have a habit of teeth grinding, we recommend scheduling a consultation with our dentist. A nightguard, which is a mouth guard-like appliance worn over the teeth during the night, can be used to treat bruxism. The nightguard is designed to prevent the upper and lower teeth from touching one another, which prevents the damage that would otherwise occur from teeth grinding. We would be happy to make you a custom nightguard for at-home use!
When you chew on ice or eat hard candy, you place undue stress on your enamel. This can cause cracks to form in your tooth, which may eventually result in decay if left untreated. If you already suffer from cavities, you should stay away from these types of foods that can further damage your oral health.
Your teeth are designed for chewing on food, not your fingernails! Biting your fingernails can damage your enamel and cause chips or cracks in your teeth. Over time, the damage caused by fingernail biting can lead to the need for a restorative procedure such as veneers, dental crowns, or braces.
People often use their teeth as tools. This habit can cause excessive wear on teeth or even breakage and injury. Avoid using your teeth as a bottle opener, wrench, scissors, or anything else that could cause damage to them. If you are in the habit of doing this, make sure to stop this at the earliest.
Some people brush their teeth too forcefully or too often, which can cause enamel wear and gum recession. Studies have shown a link between gum disease and aggressive tooth brushing, so easing up on brushing can help prevent gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Of all the bad habits that could be damaging your oral health, smoking is probably the worst. While there may be ways to improve your smile after quitting smoking, the damage to your mouth and gums has already been done. In addition to increasing your chances of developing oral cancer, smoking causes tooth discoloration, gum recession, tooth loss, bad breath, and many other unpleasant side effects. If you smoke, the best thing you can do is quit now!
To learn more about maintaining good oral health, contact El Paseo Dental Clinic at (408) 370-0101 or (510) 750-1654. You can also visit our dental offices located in San Jose and Hayward in California for your dental concerns.