Bad Habits That Could Be Ruining Your Dental Health

Bad Habits That Could Be Ruining Your Dental Health

Posted by Signature Smiles on Dec 11 2022, 08:26 PM

Your oral health has a significant impact on your overall health. Oral diseases, when left untreated, can lead to serious complications, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, dementia, cancer, and pregnancy complications. Good oral health habits can help prevent dental disease and detect problems early. On the other hand, bad dental habits can harm our dental health. Here are some bad oral habits.

  • Nail Biting

Nail biting is a common bad habit that can damage our oral health in several ways. It can cause breakage and chips to the teeth as well as develop an unsightly yellowing of the nails and cuticles. If you catch yourself chewing on your nails or notice signs of damage, it is important to break the habit as soon as possible. Generally, many people find that this is easier to do when they try various tricks to break their habit, such as carrying around bitter-tasting nail polish or wearing gloves to cover up their hands.

  • Smoking

Not only is tobacco hard on your lungs and respiratory system, but it can also cause a lot of damage to your teeth. The nicotine in cigarettes causes the blood vessels in your gums to constrict, which slows the flow of nutrients to them. It also causes inflammation and makes plaque more likely to accumulate on your teeth. On top of that, the tar and other chemicals used in tobacco products can cause stains and discoloration of your teeth. 

Not only that, but it’s also easier to get gum disease if you smoke. Nicotine acts as a vasoconstrictor that makes it harder for the gums to heal when they become inflamed. Cigarette smoke also contains bacteria that can irritate your gums and make them more susceptible to infection. Smokers are also up to six times more likely to get oral cancer than non-smokers. Oral cancer is very serious and very difficult to treat when it’s found late in its development. It often comes with very severe consequences like facial disfigurement, difficulty eating or speaking, and even death.

If you smoke and want to quit, ask your dentist to recommend resources to help you. You may also want to visit your doctor to discuss what methods may be best for you to stop. Most doctors can prescribe medication to help smokers quit or suggest support groups or other treatments that can help you quit. In addition, you should try to avoid secondhand smoke as it can still cause some irritation and inflammation in your oral tissues.

  • Brushing Teeth Aggressively

When patients brush their teeth too forcefully, they run the risk of seriously damaging their enamel and gums. This can cause sensitivity and pain, as well as cause the teeth to look discolored or worn down over time. So, we recommend our patients brush their teeth gently using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. It’s also a good idea for patients to schedule regular cleanings and exams with the dentist so that tartar and debris do not build up on the teeth and lead to further issues.

If you experience sensitivity when eating hot or cold foods, you may have seriously damaged your enamel and are at risk of developing tooth decay or cavities. Call our office right away to find out how we can help you manage your dental health!

  • Teeth Grinding

Bruxism (teeth grinding) can wear down the enamel of the teeth, which can result in tooth decay and even tooth loss. Bruxism is also associated with headaches, jaw pain, earaches, dizziness, insomnia, and other unpleasant symptoms. The habit is not uncommon in children or adults who are stressed, hyperactive or have an abnormal bite or crooked teeth. A night guard can help protect your teeth from the side effects of bruxism and ease the symptoms associated with it.

If you suspect you suffer from bruxism, talk to your dentist about solutions. You may be able to receive a custom-fit mouthguard that can be worn comfortably at night while you’re sleeping to protect your teeth from damage caused by this destructive habit. Contact us today to learn more!

  • Not Visiting The Dentist Regularly

Did you know that the American Academy of General Dentistry recommends that people visit the dentist once every six months? Many people avoid going to the dentist because of anxiety or even fear. However, skipping regular appointments at the dental clinic can cause many complications and health risks. In addition to cleaning your teeth, there are many oral health problems that your dentist can detect early and treat before they become serious health issues. If you avoid seeing a dentist on a regular basis, these simple problems can develop into bigger problems that are harder to treat.

First, if there is anything wrong or unusual with your mouth, your dentist will spot it right away during a regular exam and cleaning appointment. For example, they can spot signs of oral cancer, gum disease, tooth decay, and even chronic bad breath. All of these issues can be spotted early on and treated before they develop into something more serious. By delaying your appointments for a long period of time, you are allowing these potential problems to develop and become worse as they progress over time. Finally, you may not realize that you have a problem until you see a dentist for your regular cleaning and checkup appointments.

In addition, by not seeing your dentist regularly, you allow your teeth to decay and weaken over time. Your dentist will be able to catch these issues while they are still small and easily treatable. They will also be able to ensure that your teeth are properly cleaned and that your gums are healthy so that they do not develop gingivitis or periodontal disease. These are common issues that are caused by a lack of effective oral hygiene and can lead to tooth loss if not treated.

For more information or to schedule an appointment for your dental treatments with the dentists at Signature Smiles, located in Louisville, give us a call at 502 326-1800 or visit our office today. We look forward to working with you soon!

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