Bad Habits that are Damaging Your Oral Health

Bad Habits that are Damaging Your Oral Health

A bad habit is any habit that negatively affects a person’s health, including oral health. A habit isn’t always a conscious choice – it’s an action that is done without thinking about it. Here are a few such habits that can harm oral health. 

  • Smoking and tobacco use

People who smoke or use other tobacco products are more likely to have gum disease and lose their teeth early. Tobacco use is also a risk factor for oral cancers and cancer of the throat. While quitting smoking won’t reverse the effects of gum disease or tooth loss, it can prevent further damage from occurring. For those who struggle with nicotine addiction, talk to your dental care provider about options to help you quit for good.

Nicotine is addictive and can be a difficult habit to break on your own. In addition to your oral hygiene routine, smoking cessation can help you avoid further gum recession, tooth decay, and bone loss associated with tobacco abuse.

  • Nail biting

Nail biting is another bad habit that can damage your oral health. Biting your fingernails can lead to cracked teeth and chipped tooth enamel, as well as bacterial infections like paronychia. If you have a nail-biting habit, try substituting a healthier habit, such as chewing sugarless gum instead.

  • Chewing ice

Chewing ice and hard candy is also a destructive oral habit that can lead to broken restorations, jaw pain and difficulty speaking, and even loss of a tooth. If you have a habit of chewing on ice, quit it and use a straw for drinking cold beverages to prevent unnecessary damage to your teeth. Try to find healthier snack alternatives such as fresh fruits or yogurt to satisfy your sweet tooth.

  • Teeth grinding and clenching

Grinding your teeth negatively impacts your oral health by causing damage to your teeth and jaw. It can also lead to temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), which is a condition that causes pain in the jaw muscles and surrounding tissues. If you grind your teeth while you sleep, it might be a good idea to wear a mouthguard to bed. Mouthguards can help protect your teeth from damage and also prevent you from grinding or clenching.

  • Using teeth as tools

If you use your teeth as tools or continue to bite down on something hard, like ice or pens, it can cause damage to your teeth. These habits can wear down your dental enamel and even cause a tooth fracture. So, do not use your teeth to tear packages or cut packets. 

Visit Brighter Day Dental, 1950 Market Street, Suite D, Concord, CA 94520, to learn more about taking care of your oral health. Contact us at (925) 356-2828 or visit our website to schedule an appointment.


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