8 Habits That are Harmful to Overall Dental Health

Teeth are important

Take care of your teeth. You only get one set.

Dental health is vital to overall physical health. Unfortunately, many times, oral health issues result from poor dental hygiene. In addition, several habits lead to poor dental health. Some of these habits appear harmless, but they can cause degenerating overall physical health.

As habits are identified, it might be a good time to remove any practice leading to bad dental hygiene. Be sure to consult your family dentist to improve dental health.

Let’s review eight of these bad habits. This is not a complete list of issues that could cause damage to teeth and health.

Biting Fingernails
Nail-biting leads to injuries to the nails, cuticles, and skin surrounding the nails. These broken, jagged nails can now cause damage to the delicate gum tissue. And to make things worse, fingernails harbor many germs and bacteria, leading to the risk of illness and oral infections. Fingernail biting is a habit that may cause embarrassment along with ill health.

Too Many Late-Night Eating Binges
Having too many Binge Eating Nights, more harm can happen to teeth than suspected. Carbohydrates break down into simple sugars on chewing. So, when you eat excessive carbohydrates before going to bed, it sticks to your dental surfaces and in interdental spaces, thus leading to dental problems.

Plus, many people who binge feel bad about their weight, leading to low self-esteem, which can cause more overeating. Being overweight or obese can also raise your chances of getting long-term health problems such as breathing that stops many times during the night (sleep apnea), loss of energy, and heart issues.

Chewing or Smoking Tobacco
The sugar and irritants in smokeless tobacco products can cause cavities, abrasion of teeth, teeth staining, bad breath, gum disease, receding gums, bone loss around roots, and tooth loss. In addition, other health risks such as cancer, lung disease, poor blood circulation, to mention a few.

Opening Packages with Your Teeth
Beer bottles, candy wrappers, and envelopes — don’t use your teeth when opening these items. Not only can the teeth crack you can get a chipped tooth from complex objects such as bottle caps, but this behavior can also lead to accelerated tooth wear, poor jaw alignment, and jaw pain. Also, please don’t use them like scissors. Broken teeth are expensive to repair and may lead to tooth extraction if this habit persists possible dental implants.

Drinking too many Acidic Drinks
When you eat sugary foods or sip sugary drinks for long periods, plaque bacteria use that sugar to produce acids that attack your enamel, the hard surface of your tooth. In addition, most carbonated soft drinks, including diet soda, are acidic and harmful for your teeth causing sensitive teeth or toothache.

Too Much Coffee
The various acids found in coffee can eat through and erode your tooth enamel, allowing food particles and bacteria to seep into the teeth. Bacteria can seep into the teeth and gum tissue and increase the risk of cavities, decay, and gum disease.

Drinking too many liquids high in acid, like coffee, can weaken your enamel. Your enamel is what protects your teeth, so if it is cut or wears away, then your teeth become more vulnerable to decay.

Coffee also stains and darkens teeth over time, causing a severe dinge brown look to teeth. Coffee is also a contributor to bad breath and the need for teeth whitening.

Not Brushing/Flossing Your Teeth Daily
If you don’t brush your teeth, you get a plaque that breaks down your tooth enamel. Lack of brushing teeth will cause bad breath and eventually cause significant problems and require things like a root canal or a crown.

Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease occurs when the bacteria in plaque cause swollen and bleeding gums.

Playing Sports without a Mouthguard
Mouthguards help cushion blows that might otherwise cause broken teeth and injuries to the lips, tongue, face, or jaw. It’s believed that they also may reduce the severity and incidence of concussions. You don’t have to be on the football field or in a hockey rink to benefit from a properly fitted mouthguard.

Knowing how to prevent injuries to your mouth and face is especially important if you participate in organized sports or other recreational activities. See Dr. Kidman for more information on keeping kids’ teeth safe while playing sports.

These eight harmful habits listed are only a partial list of habits that can cause overall health issues that can be costly in more ways than one. The bottom line is taking care of your teeth is one of the best things you can do to maintain good health. See a dentist for regular cleanings and inspection. A dentist can catch early warning signs of teeth and gum disease that could long-term affect your health.

For your cleaning and inspection, see Creekside Dental in Idaho Falls. Reach them at 208-523-5090. Visit them online at mycreeksidedental.com

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