Habits That Can Disrupt Our Oral Health

Posted by Rivermark Dental on Dec 13 2022, 10:49 PM

We take care of our teeth by brushing, flossing, and regular dental visits. But, there are some bad oral habits that can damage our oral health. Listed below are the common habits that can adversely affect our oral health. 

  • Nail Biting

Some people bite their nails when they get nervous or anxious. This bad habit can chip and crack the enamel on your teeth and give them a yellow color. Not only that, but it can also cause infections in your gums.

  • Smoking

Did you know that smoking is known to cause serious oral health issues? According to the American Dental Association, people who smoke are twice as likely to have gum disease compared to non-smokers. Smokers are also three times more likely to suffer from oral cancer than non-smokers.

Regular use of tobacco products can cause a range of health issues – from bad breath to more serious illnesses such as cancer, emphysema, and heart disease. That’s why quitting is important both for your oral and overall health.

Here are some ways to kick the habit for good:

1. Talk to Your Dentist

One of the best things you can do to improve your chances of quitting smoking is to consult with your dentist about ways to help you quit. Whether you’re interested in gum, patches, or prescription medication, your dentist can help you choose the right option for your situation.

2. Find a Support Group

Joining a support group can be one of the best ways to alleviate the stress associated with quitting smoking. Many support groups are made up of people who are in the same situation as you and can be a great source of encouragement to help you reach your goals. You can ask your doctor for a recommendation for a support group in your area.

3. Keep Yourself Busy

Many people who smoke find that they crave cigarettes when they’re bored. You can keep yourself busy during this time by finding a hobby to do, like knitting, reading, or even exercising. You can also chew on sugarless gum to keep your hands busy until the urge to smoke passes.

4. Reward Yourself

Set small goals for yourself and reward yourself with healthy treats whenever you meet a goal. For example, if you make it one week without smoking, buy yourself a new pair of shoes. This can help you stay motivated and keep on track with your goal to quit!

  • Aggressive Brushing

Many of us have been told to brush our teeth twice a day and floss once a day. But how do we know if we’re flossing or brushing too much? Some people have a tendency to brush too hard and wear down their tooth enamel. When tooth enamel wears away, the inner layer of the tooth becomes exposed, which can cause sensitivity and may even lead to gum disease (gingivitis). Your gums may even bleed when you brush! Brushing your teeth two to three times a day with an appropriate soft-bristled toothbrush can help remove plaque from your teeth.

  • Teeth Grinding

Most people grind their teeth from time to time and may not even realize it. If you wake up with a sore jaw or a dull headache, you may be grinding your teeth in your sleep. This bad habit can cause headaches and tooth damage. It can also lead to temporomandibular joint disorder, which is a painful condition affecting the jaw bone and the muscles which control its movement. When you feel stressed, you are more likely to develop this potentially painful condition. To reduce the chances of developing this disorder, it is a good idea to avoid stress when possible. If you develop this condition, our dentist can help you with a mouthguard.

  • Using Teeth As Tools

Using your teeth as tools is a bad habit that can cause damage to your mouth and oral health. When you use your teeth as a tool to open packages or bite your nails, you are more likely to experience chipped or broken teeth and a damaged smile. You can also damage your soft tissues and cause an infection that requires immediate treatment by your dentist. Unfortunately, these habits can also lead to tooth loss. If you struggle with some of these bad habits, talk to your dentist about ways to break them. 

Rivermark Dental at Santa Clara is happy to educate and provide exceptional dental treatments to the community. Please schedule an appointment online or call us at 408-988-7788 to have a consultation with our dentist, and we will be happy to assist you further.

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