Many bad habits can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral diseases. Here is a list of common bad habits that can cause long-term damage to your teeth.
Tobacco smoke can discolor the teeth, and staining is irreversible without professional whitening treatments. Besides, tobacco increases your risk of developing gum disease and oral cancer. The habit also lowers the amount of saliva in your mouth, which helps protect against bacteria that can inflame your gums. If you continue smoking after oral surgery, that can increase the risks of complications and even affect your healing time. Periodontal disease is also a risk if you continue to smoke. Smokers are more likely to develop an infection in their mouth when undergoing treatment. You may also experience dry sockets after surgery if you don’t quit smoking beforehand. A dry socket happens when the bone holding the artificial tooth in place becomes exposed to air and food particles. If the bone is exposed, it will cause pain.
- Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)
Excessively grinding your teeth can wear them down. It can also irritate the soft tissues in your mouth and cause headaches and neck pain. Night guards are a common treatment recommended by dentists for alleviating the effects of bruxism. Night guards are custom-fitted devices that fit over your teeth while you sleep and prevent you from grinding your teeth together. This reduces the amount of wear and tear on your teeth, as well as prevents jaw pain from developing over time.
- Chewing Ice
What may seem like a harmless habit can actually do a lot of damage to your pearly whites. That’s because chewing on ice is said to increase the chances of developing cavities and fracturing or loosening tooth enamel. If those things happen, you will not only experience pain but will need extensive treatment that takes time and money to complete. So the next time you’re tempted to chew on an ice cube, try to resist the urge!
- Nail Biting
Quite the surprising habit on this list, but it’s true that nail biting can cause damage to the mouth and jaw. In fact, it can even cause teeth to fracture or crack if done for long enough. This puts your dental health at risk because it can be difficult to restore a fractured tooth. If you’re concerned about damaging your teeth, it’s a good idea to ask our dental team about how you can quit this bad habit for good.
- Aggressive Brushing
While everyone knows that brushing your teeth twice a day is important, many people don’t realize the drawbacks of over-brushing. People who brush too hard can actually damage their gums and enamel. This can lead to receding gums, sensitive teeth, or tooth pain. Always brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if it shows signs of wear. The American Dental Association recommends brushing for at least two minutes each time to thoroughly clean your mouth and remove food particles and sugars from between your teeth.
For more tips and comprehensive dental care, visit Stonewater Dentistry at 4450 N Tenaya Way, Suite 225, Las Vegas, NV 89129. Call us at (702) 734-5000 for appointments.