Harmful Oral Health Habits To Watch Out For

Harmful Oral Health Habits To Watch Out For

Posted by Ryan Robinson on Nov 16 2022, 08:04 PM

Harmful Oral Health Habits To Watch Out For

Oral health is an important part of overall health. Poor oral health can result in tooth loss, infection, and other problems. Here are a few bad oral health habits that can affect our oral health badly. 

  • Smoking

Tobacco use in any form is detrimental to periodontal health. In addition to staining your teeth and discoloring your soft tissues, it can also increase your risk of oral cancer. Smokers are significantly more at risk of periodontal disease than non-smokers. Cigarette smoke contains over 70 known carcinogens that can wreak havoc on your health. Tobacco users are also more likely to suffer from a condition called mesial temporal mandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD), which causes the lower jaw to click or pop when opening and closing the mouth. This condition can also lead to pain in the jaw muscles or difficulty opening the mouth all the way. If you’re a smoker, quitting is one of the best things you can do for your oral health.

  • Teeth grinding and clenching

Teeth grinding and jaw clenching can lead to TMJ disorder and other problems. People who grind or clench their teeth in their sleep are apt to wake with a sore mouth or headache. Those who grind during the day are more likely to have cracked teeth that wear down faster. In addition to causing tooth damage, bruxism can cause headaches, earaches, and facial pain. 

Some ways to prevent teeth grinding include:

  • Avoiding caffeine and alcohol in the evenings/nights
  • Using a night guard to protect your teeth from damage while you sleep
  • Chewing ice

Chewing ice can be extremely detrimental to your teeth and mouth in a number of ways. It can cause tooth sensitivity due to temperature fluctuations, damage to the enamel of the teeth, damage to gums, and cracks in teeth. Ice can chip or crack teeth when bitten down hard. If this occurs, it is important to see your dentist as soon as possible for repair. Your dentist may need to fill any cavities to prevent additional damage from taking place. 

In addition to damaging your teeth, it can also cause painful jaw issues. When you chew on a piece of ice for too long, it can cause temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ. This causes pain in the neck and jaw that may prevent you from being able to open your mouth or chew comfortably. To reduce your risk of experiencing these oral health conditions, you should avoid chewing ice.

  • Nail biting

Nail biting is a habit that can damage teeth in a number of ways. In addition to wearing down the outer layer of enamel, it can also lead to tooth sensitivity. Enamel erosion is one of the most common consequences of nail-biting, but this can also increase the chances of developing cavities in the mouth as well. 

  • Using teeth as tools

The hard enamel of your teeth is not designed to withstand force from heavy items or sharp edges. Using them as tools can result in chips and cracks as well as injury to the gums and mouth. Avoid putting objects in your mouth as much as possible. 

  • Aggressive brushing

Brushing too hard can lead to receding gums and enamel wear. Brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush should be enough to adequately remove plaque from your smile. When you brush, use short brush strokes to gently massage your gums and clean the surface of each tooth. Your dentist can show you proper techniques for brushing and flossing so that you can keep your smile healthy. In addition, your dentist may recommend fluoride treatments to help strengthen enamel and prevent cavities from forming. After your treatment, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your smile hydrated.

If you want to know more about general dentistry, contact Robinson Family Dentistry by calling (843) 554-9332, booking an appointment online, or visiting us at 1281 Yeamans Hall Road, Hanahan, SC 29410. Dr. Hugh Robinson and Dr. Ryan Robinson will be happy to help you choose the best option for you. 

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1281 Yeamans Hall Road, Hanahan, SC 29410

Phone: (843) 554-9332

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Email: office@hanahanfamilydentistry.com

Call or Text Us: (843) 554-9332