Bad Habits That Can Damage Oral Health

Bad Habits That Can Damage Oral Health

Posted by Daniel Vasquez Nov 15,2022

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There are certain bad habits that can damage your oral health. Some of these habits are proper oral hygiene practices. These habits include:

  • Smoking

Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, including at least 70 that cause cancer. Some of the chemicals in cigarettes are also found in cigars and pipes. The smoke from pipes and cigars contains more tars and nicotine than cigarettes. These substances cause deadly diseases like oral cancer or create stains on your teeth and increase the risk of gum disease. They also decrease your sense of smell and taste, which can make eating less enjoyable. Quitting smoking can improve your health in many ways, including improving your dental health. Talk to your dentist about quitting tobacco. They can help you find resources to help you quit smoking for good. 

  • Teeth Grinding

Occasional teeth grinding, or bruxism is very common and usually happens during sleep. However, if you regularly wake up with a headache, sore jaw muscles, or a dull headache, you may be suffering from chronic teeth grinding, which can damage your teeth. Chronic teeth grinding can be successfully treated with a customized mouthguard worn at night. Your dentist can fit you for a mouthguard that will protect your teeth from wear during all of your nighttime activities. This will provide relief from your headaches and prevent damage to your teeth caused by teeth grinding. If you’ve noticed symptoms of chronic teeth grinding in yourself or someone in your family, talk to your dentist about treatment options to protect your smile.

  • Chewing Ice

When something feels cold and soothing on our gums and tooth surfaces, it can be tempting to give in and keep chewing or sucking on the hard substance. However, this can lead to damage, such as chipped teeth or an increased chance of filling cavities. Additionally, cold temperatures can aggravate sensitive gum tissue and even cause small blood vessels to burst in the tissue, leading to localized bleeding. While not as damaging as other habits, it is still best to avoid chewing on ice altogether to keep your smile healthy. 

  • Nail Biting

Nail biting is a common habit among both children and adults alike, but it is one that can lead to several oral health problems. It causes the teeth to shift out of alignment and result in damaged and broken teeth due to the excessive force applied to them. Additionally, infections in the gums or mouth can occur from germs that live under the nails. To avoid these problems, it is important to stop this bad habit as soon as possible. There are several techniques that can be used to help break the habit, including the use of nail polish on the nails and covering them with band-aids. This can help people avoid the urge to bite their nails. Another option is to apply bitter-tasting polish to the nails and hands. These strategies can be used separately or together to give the patient the best chance at breaking this habit.

  • Using Teeth As Tools

Many people use their teeth for things other than eating. For instance, people use their teeth to open packages, cut tape, pick at hangnails, scrape paint off walls or other surfaces, poke holes in cardboard boxes, etc. This can cause damage to the teeth and dental work, like fillings or crowns. 

  • Aggressive Brushing

If you’re using a hard-bristled toothbrush or a hard-bristled brush head on your electric toothbrush, you may be doing more harm than good when you brush your teeth. Hard bristles can damage the soft tissues of the mouth, wearing down the enamel of the teeth, and leading to sensitivity and pain. Furthermore, abrasive brushes and toothpaste damage tooth enamel as well. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush is gentler on teeth and gums and can reduce the risk of enamel wear.

Additionally, if you tend to brush too hard or use too much force while brushing, you may inadvertently harm your gums by irritating them or even causing a recession. If you notice that your teeth bleed when you brush, don’t ignore this warning sign. Talk to your dentist to see if you need to make any changes to your oral hygiene routine.

Contact Vasquez & Associates Dental Office if you have any questions about oral care. You can schedule a consultation by calling (760) 529-5339 or visiting us at 3601 Vista Way Ste 105, Oceanside, CA 92056. 

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