Poor dental hygiene can lead to several oral health problems. It’s essential that we keep our oral hygiene in check by brushing and flossing regularly. Listed below are a few bad habits that can damage our oral health.
- Nail Biting
Although nail biting might seem harmless, it can damage your teeth and your oral health. Biting nails can cause tooth fractures or cracks, which can expose the soft inner layer of the tooth to bacteria and other harmful mouth organisms. This increases your risk for tooth decay. Your bite may also become misaligned, putting additional pressure on your jaw. This can lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), a painful condition that can cause headaches and problems with your jaw’s range of motion. If you suffer from TMD, you may need to wear a bite guard to prevent you from damaging your teeth further while sleeping. So, quitting this habit at the earliest can help prevent several dental issues.
Many oral problems are caused by bad habits, and smoking is one of them. Tobacco cigarettes contain over 7,000 chemicals in addition to nicotine. Moreover, smokeless tobacco contains more chemicals and can be just as harmful to your health. All tobacco products can lead to oral cancers, gum disease, and tooth decay. Additionally, research shows that smokers are twice as likely to lose their teeth compared to non-smokers. This is because cigarette smokers usually develop gum disease or infections around their gums due to poor oral hygiene. Smokers are at a higher risk of developing gum disease because tobacco use weakens the body’s ability to fight infection. Additionally, smoking also stains the teeth. Quitting smoking is one of the most beneficial things someone can do for their oral health. If you’re a smoker, consider quitting—it’s never too late! Your teeth and gums will thank you for it.
- Brushing Too Hard
People who brush their teeth aggressively can cause enamel to wear away. Enamel is the protective outer layer of your teeth that keeps them from feeling sensitive or vulnerable to bacteria and decay. If you brush your teeth hard and notice sensitivity in your teeth, see your dentist. They may recommend switching to a softer toothbrush and toothpaste that is less abrasive. To better protect your enamel while you brush, the American Dental Association recommends you brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush at an angle and use short, gentle strokes back and forth.
- Teeth Grinding
Bruxism is the unconscious habit of grinding our teeth at night or during stressful situations. This habit can lead to chipped teeth, worn-down enamel, and jaw pain. The condition frequently goes undiagnosed because the grinding occurs during sleep. Those affected often report feeling tired in the morning or throughout the day. We may recommend a night guard to help patients protect their teeth from night bruxing. A custom-fitted night guard can be an effective solution for patients who experience jaw soreness or headaches due to clenching and grinding. The night guard will prevent you from damaging your teeth while sleeping. The night guard will also prevent jaw soreness and aching caused by excess pressure on your jaws. Ask your dentist about a custom-fitted night guard to protect your teeth and jaw pain.
- Not Visiting A Dentist Regularly
Visiting your dentist at least twice a year for your teeth cleanings and oral exams are an essential part of your dental health because they prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Your dentist will also examine your mouth and the surrounding tissues, checking for signs of oral cancer. He or she may also take x-rays of your teeth to further evaluate your oral health and recommend procedures like fillings or crowns if necessary. Without professional care, you put yourself at risk for tooth decay, infections, and even tooth loss. By continuing with your regular dental care visits, you can maintain healthy teeth and gums for years to come.
To learn more about good oral care, contact Focus Dental Group at (801) 255-7101 or visit our dental office located at 6770 S 900 E Suite 301, Midvale, UT 84047.