Six Habits That Can Damage Your Teeth And Gums

Six Habits That Can Damage Your Teeth And Gums

Oral hygiene involves caring for your mouth, teeth, and gums. This includes brushing your teeth two times a day, flossing, and using mouthwash. Good oral hygiene can keep your teeth healthy and prevent tooth decay and gum disease. On the other hand, certain habits can damage our oral health. Here are some damaging habits.

  • Smoking

Did you know that there’s a link between smoking and oral health? In fact, tobacco can stain your teeth and cause tooth discoloration. Additionally, the chemicals in cigarettes can interact with plaque buildup on teeth to cause damage to oral tissues. Heavy smokers also are at a heightened risk for gum disease. This is because the toxins in the smoke irritate the gum tissues, causing them to become inflamed and more likely to bleed or recede. This can lead to periodontitis, which is the No. 1 cause of tooth loss in adults. Quitting smoking will help protect your oral health in the long run and also reduce your risk of other serious health conditions such as cancer, lung disease, heart disease, and more. Just know that there are resources out there to help you quit if you need that extra nudge. 

  • Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Teeth grinding takes place most when a person is sleeping. While asleep, a person may clench their teeth tightly together and/or grind them from side to side. This often occurs unconsciously and can cause significant tooth damage over the years. When teeth are damaged in this way, this can lead to worse dental problems in the future. In some cases, teeth grinding can lead to headaches or jaw pain. Someone experiencing these symptoms should see a dentist right away and get a night guard to prevent more serious complications from occurring. 

  • Chewing Ice

Everyone loves the refreshing crunch of a frozen treat on a hot day. However, ice can cause damage to your teeth and your dental work. If you’ve received cosmetic dental restorations such as dental veneers, you especially need to be careful with hard foods. Hard foods can damage dental work very easily, leaving you in pain or with a compromised restoration. The repeated force of chewing on ice may wear down your tooth enamel, eventually causing tooth sensitivity and pain. Over time, this can lead to serious oral health problems, including the need for restorative dentistry services. If you chew on the ice frequently, try to quit the habit at the earliest.

  • Nail Biting

The force that occurs when someone bites their nails can chip or crack their tooth enamel, especially if the habit is frequent. In addition to damaging your teeth, biting your nails can lead to other serious health issues as well because your mouth is a gateway to your bloodstream. Bacteria from your mouth can get into your blood and cause heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It can also damage your immune system and increase your risk of infection. So, if you have the habit of nail biting, quit it.

  • Using Teeth As Tools

Teeth were designed for chewing food and not to open packages or crack nuts. When teeth are used as a tool, fractures can occur. The enamel can chip away and eventually expose the sensitive inner layer called dentin. This increases the risk of tooth decay and sensitivity. So, do not use your teeth as a tool.

  • Aggressive Brushing

Aggressive or overly vigorous brushing can damage tooth enamel and gums. If you brush too hard, you can wear down your tooth enamel and cause your gums to recede. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and use light circular motions when brushing your teeth. You may also need to invest in an electric toothbrush with a timer to ensure you’re properly brushing your teeth for two minutes at a time. 

To find out more about the dental services offered at Monica Neely DDS, call (405) 302-0100 or schedule an online consultation. You can also visit our office at 2408 NW 178th St, Edmond, OK 73012. We will guide you further.


2408 NW 178th St, Edmond, OK 73012

Phone: (405) 302-0100

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