Even seemingly harmless habits, such as biting your fingernails, can have a negative impact on your teeth. These habits may not cause you pain, but over time, their effects can be detrimental to your oral health. Here are some habits that can damage our oral health.
Bruxism, or teeth grinding and clenching, is usually an involuntary habit that can occur during the day or at night while you sleep. It can even be loud enough to wake up your spouse or roommates!
Many people with bruxism don’t realize they’re doing it because it can occur so quietly. However, if you wake up with a sore jaw, headache, earache, or even cracked teeth, you may be doing it in your sleep without knowing it.
Many cases of bruxism are caused by stress. If you grind or clench your teeth more often when you’re under stress, it may be a sign of a bigger problem and should be brought to the attention of your dentist, who can recommend treatment. Over time, the friction from bruxing can cause tooth enamel to erode away, leading to an increased risk of decay and cavities. In some cases, people who grind their teeth may suffer from the temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), which can cause pain in the jaw and surrounding muscles. For all of these reasons and more, it’s important to treat your bruxism before it leads to more serious issues.
There are a variety of treatments available to treat bruxism, from mouthguards that you wear at night to relaxation techniques to help you manage your stress levels. Talk to your dentist to find out what options are available for you.
We can get used to having a certain amount of sensitivity to hot and cold foods and drinks, and this can make it feel like we don’t notice when it’s too much or feels strange in some way. If our teeth hurt for more than a day or two at a time, we need to visit our dentist for an exam and possibly an x-ray to make sure we’re not dealing with a more serious issue that’s causing pain or sensitivity.
We can also get used to having a certain level of bad breath. We can become accustomed to the smell even though we know it’s not normal. This can cause us to feel self-conscious about sharing ourselves with people we care about. If we notice that we’re using more breath spray than we did in the past, it’s time to make an appointment with our dentist to give us a good cleaning and check to make sure there isn’t any hidden decay that we need to treat.
Tooth pain and other signs of damage can also indicate a problem with one’s bite. An imbalanced bite can lead to headaches and other issues that can make it difficult to function at our best levels in our personal and professional lives. A consultation with a specialist in dentistry can help us identify any issues with our bite and come up with a treatment plan to correct misaligned bites.
When we snack throughout the day, our teeth are exposed to food and sugar for long periods of time. The bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugar and produce acid that wears away your tooth enamel and weakens the protective layer on your teeth. Cavities form when your tooth enamel is worn away, and your once-strong tooth can decay from acids inside the mouth. To prevent cavities caused by snacking, you should try to limit snacking in between meals.
Call us and schedule an appointment to learn more.