Bad Habits That Can Affect Oral Health

Bad Habits That Can Affect Oral Health

Posted by Mai Zamakhchari on Nov 10 2022, 09:04 PM

Oral health is important for your overall health as well. Studies have linked poor oral health to heart disease, stroke, and pregnancy complications. Hence, taking care of your oral health is important. However, there are certain habits that can affect our oral health. Here are they:

  • Smoking

When you smoke, the smoke passes over the surface of your teeth and can cause staining. It also deposits tar and other chemicals on the teeth and gums. Your oral health will also be at risk if you continue with the habit because tobacco products can increase your chances of developing mouth sores, periodontal disease, oral lesions, dry mouth, tooth loss, tooth decay, and oral cancer. Even patients who have their natural teeth removed and replaced due to smoking can experience problems with healing after their surgery. In some cases, dental implants can be damaged as a result of the habit. Talk to your dentist if you think that you may be addicted to tobacco. They can refer you to a support group where you can learn more about quitting the habit.

  • Not Brushing Your Teeth Regularly

Failing to brush your teeth at least twice a day can be detrimental to your oral health. Plaque hardens into tartar quickly, so it can be difficult to remove without the help of your toothbrush. If plaque and tartar are allowed to build up on the teeth, they can cause serious damage to the gum tissues and the underlying jawbone. Luckily, brushing your teeth regularly can help to prevent this problem. Just be sure to use a soft-bristled brush to avoid damaging the enamel of your teeth.

  • Teeth Grinding

Many people clench or grind their teeth while they are sleeping. This occurs due to stress. It can lead to tooth damage, such as fractures and tooth loss. It can also put a strain on the jaw joint causing pain and stiffness. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to your dentist about treatment options. A mouth guard is one of the best ways to prevent damage from clenching and grinding. It is worn at night to protect your teeth and reduce tension in your jaw muscles. If you are stressed out during the day, you can also try some relaxation techniques like meditation to help reduce stress.

  • Nail-Biting

Nail-biting is a bad habit that can be harmful to your smile and overall health. This bad habit can chip and crack your teeth and may even cause TMJ disorders. Nail-biting can be a difficult habit to break because it acts as a type of stress relief for many people. Try to remember to practice self-care instead of biting your nails. For example, you could try using a stress ball or squeezing a tennis ball instead. If you suffer from anxiety, talk to your dentist about your treatment options. Your dentist may be able to suggest relaxation techniques that will help you deal with your anxiety and break the nail-biting habit.

  • Chewing Ice

You may think that chewing ice or crunching on ice is just a harmless habit, but it can actually harm your teeth more than you might realize. The act of chewing on ice can fracture and even break your enamel. Your tooth is not meant to be continually exposed to cold temperatures. An ice-cold beverage can be refreshing and desirable on a hot summer day, but it shouldn’t be used as a chew toy in your free time.

In addition to damaging your tooth enamel, chewing ice can cause other issues with your mouth. Chewing on hard substances like ice can also damage your teeth by causing cracks in your teeth. These cracks can lead to the need for fillings or even dental crowns. 

  • Brushing Aggressively

Some people brush their teeth too aggressively or with the wrong technique. This can wear down your enamel over time and damage your gums as well. Ideally, you should brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush at a 45-degree angle. 

If you take good care of your teeth and gums at home and see your dentist regularly, you’re already doing most of what’s necessary to keep your smile healthy and beautiful for life. To learn more, get in touch with the dentists at Stonewall Dental by calling (703) 368-1000 or visiting the office at 8719 Stonewall Road, Manassas, VA 20110.

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