Oral health has a major impact on overall health. Oral infections and diseases can spread to other areas of the body. Oral health is also linked to self-esteem and confidence. There are a few habits that can affect our oral health badly. Here are some of them.
In addition to putting you at greater risk for oral cancer and gum disease, smoking also affects your oral health by discoloring your teeth. The substance stains the enamel on your teeth and causes yellowing and discoloration. Additionally, it changes the way your gum tissues heal after oral surgery. Naturally, smokers heal slower than nonsmokers. If you’re a smoker who’s considering an oral procedure like dental implants or dentures, talk about how quitting smoking could affect your healing time. Your dentist can also discuss other treatment options available to help you quit smoking before undergoing major dental treatment.
Just like smoking, drinking too much alcohol can have a negative impact on the health of your smile as well. Alcohol consumption can dry out your mouth, cause bad breath, increase your risk of gum disease, and cause tooth erosion. If you choose to drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation and make sure to rinse with water afterward to wash away any lingering substances that can harm your oral health.
Teeth are meant for chewing food and not using them as a tool to open packages, hold things, or scrape off price tags. Using your teeth as a tool can cause damage to your teeth and can result in chipping or even breaking a tooth. If you tend to use your teeth as a pocketknife or a screwdriver, you are putting your oral health at risk. So, stop this habit and switch to other tools like scissors or screwdrivers instead.
Some people grind their teeth in their sleep and do not even know it. Nighttime bruxism does not usually cause any pain, but the habit can cause tooth damage. For example, this may impact your ability to chew or speak normally. Your dentist may recommend that you wear a custom night guard during sleep to protect your teeth from damage caused by grinding. Other ways to prevent this condition include learning relaxation techniques and changing your diet to include more healthy foods and less caffeine.
There is a reason why dentists tell their patients to stop eating ice! When you chew ice, you run the risk of breaking or chipping your teeth. Plus, cold temperatures can cause tooth sensitivity and even gum recession. Instead, try sipping something cool, like water or tea.
Nail biting is a habit that can lead to several problems for your mouth and overall health. It can potentially cause tooth damage, gum recession, and even potentially contribute to tooth loss. To break this harmful habit, try keeping your hands busy. Another way to break the habit is to try relaxing techniques.
While too much or overzealous brushing of your teeth can lead to oral health issues such as receding gums and sensitivity, it can also cause damage to the enamel of the teeth and ruin restorations like fillings. Some patients may brush their teeth so hard that they actually cause their restoration to break loose from their teeth. Always use a manual or electric toothbrush with a soft head to avoid damaging the teeth with excessive pressure. Avoid using a hard-bristled toothbrush because it can damage the tooth’s surface.