A healthy mouth allows you to speak, smile, and chew without pain or discomfort. It is a vital part of overall health. However, without the proper care, your teeth are susceptible to damage. While most oral health conditions are treatable if caught early, it is better to prevent issues from occurring by avoiding these bad habits.
1. Brushing Teeth and Gums Too Aggressively
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. A toothbrush not used correctly can damage your teeth. Brushing too aggressively can wear down tooth enamel, causing bleeding gums and sensitive teeth. Once the enamel erodes, your teeth are vulnerable to developing cavities and tooth decay.
If you frequently experience gum bleeding or have sensitive teeth, visit your dentist and consider purchasing an electric toothbrush with a pressure sensor.
2. Using Tobacco
Smoking tobacco can increase your risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease, or oral cancers. Chemicals in tobacco affect saliva production, causing an increase in harmful bacteria and plaque.
Plaque irritates gum tissue and causes gingival inflammation, leading to gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can cause periodontitis, an advanced gum disease that can cause tooth loss and bone deterioration.
Smokeless tobacco can also irritate the gum tissue, causing it to recede or pull away from your teeth. It also contains sand and grit that can wear down your teeth.
Regardless of how long a person has used tobacco products, quitting can significantly reduce serious health risks. Consult your dentist and primary care doctor to help minimize nicotine cravings with medications.
3. Consuming Sugary Drinks and Treats
Candy and soda are very high in sugar; one 12-ounce can of coke contains 9.75 teaspoons. Harmful bacteria feed on sugar, producing waste byproducts that lower your mouth’s pH level.
The pH scale measures a solution’s acid or alkali level from 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. When your mouth’s pH level drops below normal (less than 5.5), the acidity starts to dissolve and destroy tooth enamel. Acid erosion causes cavities to form, which can lead to decay.
4. Avoiding the Dentist
The American Dental Association recommends twice-yearly dental visits. However, you may need to visit the dentist more often depending on certain factors, such as your age, oral health, and certain medical conditions.
Routine dental cleaning removes plaque deposits on your teeth. During a checkup, A professional cleaning helps restore a healthy balance of bacteria in the mouth. Keeping a regular schedule of dental cleanings is essential to ensure teeth and gums are healthy.
5. Using Teeth as Tools
Using teeth for anything other than food can be dangerous. If you open packages or chew on pen caps, you could potentially cut your gums. Using teeth to hold items puts excess pressure on your teeth and jaws, which can cause cracking, chipping, or craze lines.
This habit can also cause premature wear and tear on your teeth, contributing to increased tooth sensitivity and caries.
Visit Valley Dental Care of Plainfield to Protect Your Oral Health
Regular visits with your dentist are crucial to help protect your smile. Your dentist can help you manage bad dental habits to prevent oral health issues and repair any damage before it worsens. Call Valley Dental Care of Plainfield on (815) 436-6800 to schedule a check-up and cleaning.