We sometimes forget to take care of our dental health, especially when we are busy with our daily routine. Certain bad habits can damage our oral health, which in turn affects our overall health. Listed below are some common bad habits that can take a toll on our oral health.
- Nail Biting
Repeatedly biting or chewing on fingernails can lead to chipped or broken teeth and can potentially cause infection in gum tissue due to exposure to bacteria and yeast that live in your mouth. The habit can also wear down tooth enamel and increase the risk of tooth decay. In addition to causing damage to our smile, this bad habit can also lead to clenching and jaw pain. If left untreated, it can lead to sleep problems and even changes to your facial appearance. If you struggle with the urge to bite your nails, try to find some distraction. You may also seek the help of a dentist to quit the habit.
- Aggressive Brushing
Aggressive toothbrushing can wear down tooth enamel and damage gums, leading to tooth decay and gum disease. This can happen when patients brush their teeth too hard or with too much force. It can also happen when patients use the wrong type of brush, such as a medium- or hard-bristled toothbrush instead of a soft-bristled one. Many patients are also nervous about the cleaning experience and mistakenly believe that it’s necessary to use more force to remove plaque from the teeth. In fact, aggressive toothbrushing can result in gum recession and damage to existing restorations, as well as worsen any concerns about bleeding while brushing the teeth.
When patients brush too quickly or with excessive pressure, they can remove healthy gum tissue along with the bacteria that cause gingivitis and periodontitis. This can lead to a condition called receding gums, which exposes the roots of the tooth to bacteria and increases the risk of developing cavities on the roots. So, use a gentle, soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth.
- Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding is when we clench our teeth during the day or at night which wears down tooth enamel and, over time, can lead to other oral health problems. This can wear down the protective surface of your teeth and lead to cavities and even tooth sensitivity. Try not to grind your teeth while sleeping by having a mouth guard created for you to wear at night.
If stress is causing you to clench your teeth during the day, try relaxing strategies like deep breathing or meditation. You can also talk to your dentist about other ways to help relieve your stress and anxiety before it becomes harmful to your oral health.
- Using Teeth As Tools
Biting and chewing on hard objects like pens or pencils are habits many people develop in their childhood. While it may seem harmless, this habit can actually cause serious damage to your teeth over time. When you have something in your mouth that constantly puts pressure on your teeth, it can cause a lot of damage. It can cause the teeth to crack and even break in half. It is important to avoid chewing on anything hard at all costs. If you think you already have cracked or broken teeth due to a bad habit, be sure to visit your dentist right away to get them repaired as quickly as possible.
- Not Visiting A Dentist Regularly
There’s no doubt that many Americans have oral health problems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 64% of American adults aged 30 and above suffer from some form of gum disease. As a result, many seek the care of a dentist to restore their damaged smiles. Some even visit the dentist twice a year for a checkup and cleaning to prevent dental issues. Yet, there are those who don’t prioritize going to the dentist as much as they should for checkups. The consequences of not going to your dentist when you should are serious and could damage your oral health in the long run. For instance, skipping your six-month checkup could render your preventive treatments useless. Also, your enamel could get stained because of the food and drinks you consume. Lastly, you could develop cavities that are difficult to treat without invasive procedures such as root canals.
If you have any questions about our dental services, call our experienced dentist in Katy, TX, at (281) 271-5100 to schedule an appointment at our dental office located at 6940 Katy-Gaston Rd Suite 200, Katy, TX 77494.