Bad habits, such as nail biting, using teeth as tools, chewing gum, and frequent snacking, can negatively affect your oral health. These habits increase your risk of gum disease, tooth decay, jaw pain, and more. Here is how.
While some people may argue that teeth-grinding isn’t a habit, but a natural reflex during sleep, it can still be damaging to your teeth and jaw. In addition to wearing down your pearly whites, clenching or grinding can lead to chronic jaw pain, headaches, neck pain, earaches, and more. The pressure from clenching the teeth can cause the muscles around your jaw to become sore and fatigued, which can cause tension in your neck and face. This can also cause pain in the jaw muscles themselves, leading to discomfort and even locking the jaw completely shut. Thankfully, we can fit you with a mouthguard that can protect the teeth and jaws from this nightly habit. A custom-fitted mouthguard will be much more comfortable to wear than the stock ones you may find at the store. It will also wrap around your top and bottom teeth to provide the most protection possible from the pressure and friction from grinding.
Nail biting is a very common bad habit. In fact, almost ten percent of people bite or pick at their nails! Picking and chewing on your nails not only causes unsightly yellowing, but it can also cause tooth sensitivity and even chipped or broken teeth. What’s more, the behavior can also pass germs from your nails to your mouth, putting you at risk of infection.
Using Teeth As Tools
Putting pressure on your teeth as tools isn’t good for them. Whether it’s opening packages with your teeth or using them to open bottles, this can cause unnecessary damage to your teeth. Furthermore, using your teeth as tools can chip or even break them. Try to avoid this behavior as much as possible. Instead, use a bottle opener or scissors when you need to open a package.
Chewing Ice Cubes
Ice may feel good when it gets inside a sore tooth, but it’s a bad idea for oral health. The ice and chewing motion can cause damage to your teeth by chipping or potentially cracking your enamel. The cold temperature also causes blood vessels to constrict and send less blood to the nerves in the teeth.
Smoking and using other forms of tobacco are some of the worst habits for your oral health, and quitting can be one of the best things you can do to preserve your teeth. In addition to lung cancer and a host of respiratory issues, smoking can also cause tooth decay, gum disease, tooth loss, and more. Smokers are at a higher risk of oral cancer as well.
While quitting can be difficult, it is well worth the effort to protect your health. Those who quit smoking have a much better chance of reversing the effects of tobacco use on their teeth than those who continue to smoke. Quitting cold turkey is not ideal, though, so ask your dentist about the best cessation method for you.
Not Brushing Your Teeth Regularly
We can all admit to skipping our nightly brushing routine occasionally, but doing so on a fairly regular basis can be detrimental to your oral health. When you skip out on flossing and brushing, oral bacteria build up in your mouth. This bacterial buildup can lead to tooth decay and the erosion of your enamel over time. Once enamel is lost from your teeth, it cannot be replaced! Avoiding regular brushing also leads to gum disease, which is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. Gum disease also increases the risk of other medical conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
For the best dental care tailored to your unique needs, visit Main Street Dental at 3195 S Main St Ste 225, South Salt Lake, UT 84115, or call (801) 467-2255.
Tooth extraction is one of the most common dental procedures. The dentist may recommend tooth extraction for a number of reasons. For instance, the tooth may be too damaged to repair with restorative dentistry options. Or, the tooth may be impacted, which means the dentist cannot access the tooth without causing damage to the surrounding teeth. Tooth extraction is performed with local anesthesia to numb the tooth and the area around the tooth. The dentist may also recommend over-the-counter or prescription medications to reduce any swelling that may occur following the procedure. Here are some aftercare tips for you: * Proper oral hygiene is especially important after tooth extraction. Until the area heals completely, it’s essential to keep food particles from settling in the socket and causing infection or discomfort. * Over-the-counter painkillers can help reduce pain and inflammation while you heal. To help keep your extraction site clean while it heals use salt water rinses throughout the day. You should notice swelling go down within a few days of surgery. However, it could take several months for your bone and gum tissue to heal completely. If medication hasn’t helped with recovery, be sure to contact your dentist as soon as possible for further treatment. * The socket of the extracted tooth will be tender for a few days, but rinsing with salt water can help reduce pain and swelling. Dissolve one teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water, and gently rinse out your mouth with the solution three times a day for the first few days. Rinsing your mouth can also help reduce bleeding and help the blood clot form more quickly. * An ice pack or cold compress can be used to reduce swelling and pain as well. Apply it to the outside of your cheek for the first 24 to 48 hours. Be sure to remove it for at least 20 minutes at a time so the skin can breathe. * Over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen may be used to ease discomfort. Be sure to take any medication as directed on the packaging. Avoid using alcohol-based mouthwashes as they can increase bleeding. Also, avoid smoking, as it can slow the healing process. * After the extraction, you will need to be gentler than usual when brushing your teeth to avoid irritating the soft tissue in the socket. You should also be careful what you eat, as chewing hard foods can cause painful irritation to the healing tissue. Try to stick to soft foods such as yogurt, pudding, applesauce, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, oatmeal, and cottage cheese. For the best dental care tailored to your unique needs, visit Main Street Dental at 3195 S Main St Ste 225, South Salt Lake, UT 84115, or call (801) 467-2255.
Gum disease is a common dental concern, affecting millions of people each year. At Main Street Dental, our experienced dentists are here to help you prevent and treat gum disease. Read on to learn about its causes: POOR ORAL HYGIENE The cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth feed off simple sugars, and when you don't brush and floss regularly, this sugary film can build up on the surface of your teeth. The longer it is there, the more it grows until it eventually hardens into plaque - a sticky substance that clings to the surface of your teeth. If it isn't removed in a timely fashion, it will harden into tartar, a material that can only be removed by a professional cleaning. If this is allowed to happen, it can cause serious damage to your gums and teeth, leading to gum disease. Even if you're brushing and flossing regularly, you still need to visit your dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning so they can catch any potential problems before they become severe. GENETICS Your genes may have a lot to say about your risk for gum disease. For example, those with a family history of periodontal disease may be more prone to the condition themselves. That's because genetics may play a strong role in how susceptible someone might be to disease in general. While you can't change your genetic makeup, you can take steps to prevent dental problems. Brushing and flossing daily at home can help remove plaque that causes gum disease, and visiting the dentist for regular cleanings and exams can give your teeth the attention they need to stay healthy and strong. SMOKING The condition known as smoker's periodontitis is a type of gum disease that occurs in people who smoke cigarettes or use other forms of tobacco. This type of gum disease causes severe damage to the gums and other structures in the mouth. Plaque buildup is more severe for those who use tobacco products. In addition, smokers are at a higher risk of developing oral cancer. It's never too late to quit using tobacco, so call your dentist today to schedule a consultation to discuss quitting smoking once and for all. HORMONAL CHANGES When you're pregnant, the body produces hormones that increase your chance of developing gingivitis and gum disease. These hormonal changes can cause the gums to become inflamed or irritated very easily. Once the baby is born and the hormone levels stabilize, your gums should return to normal and heal from the condition. However, if pregnancy hormones were the cause of your gum issues, you may develop them again if you become pregnant again. If the mother has poor oral health during pregnancy, this can also affect the health of the baby. An unhealthy mouth can introduce bacteria to the bloodstream, which is then transferred to the baby through the umbilical cord. The harmful bacteria can then cause premature birth, low birth weight, and other health issues for the child. This is referred to as "pregnancy gingivitis." MEDICATIONS Many commonly prescribed medications list dry mouth as a side effect, which can lead to gum disease. A dry mouth is a condition in which the mouth produces less saliva than normal, which can leave the mouth vulnerable to bacteria, plaque buildup, and tooth decay. If you're currently taking medications and notice more instances of gingivitis or bleeding gums, speak with your doctor about alternative medications that may treat your condition without causing a dry mouth. In some cases, you may simply need to increase your water intake to combat the side effect of dry mouth. For the best dental care tailored to your unique needs, visit Main Street Dental at 3195 S Main St Ste 225, South Salt Lake, UT 84115, or call (801) 467-2255.
The holiday season is one of the busiest times of the year. With shopping, cooking, and family gatherings, it can be easy to neglect your oral health. AVOID SUGARY TREATS Sweets and treats are common gifts during the holiday season, but not all are healthy for your teeth. Sticky candies and cakes cling to the teeth, promoting tooth decay and cavities. Bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugars in the foods and produce acid as a byproduct which weakens tooth enamel. Brushing soon after consuming sugary treats can help clear food particles from the teeth and prevent bacteria from developing into plaque. If you do consume sugary treats, brush them after eating them to help remove food debris and reduce the risk of decay and cavities. And remember, moderation is key. It’s fine to indulge in a few holiday goodies, but eat them in moderation, so you don’t harm your smile. DON’T SKIP YOUR DENTAL APPOINTMENTS Although the holidays are supposed to be a happy time, they can bring on a lot of stress. For many people, this can lead to unhealthy habits like skipping meals or not getting enough sleep. However, it is important to keep up with your regular oral hygiene routine and keep up your dentist appointments during this time as well. Skipping your dental treatments can actually make your holidays more stressful and add extra anxiety to your life. BRUSH AND FLOSS REGULARLY During the holiday season, make sure you keep up with your daily oral hygiene rituals, such as brushing twice a day, flossing at least once, and using an antimicrobial mouthwash to strengthen your teeth against plaque buildup. That way, you’ll be able to enjoy more delicious foods without damaging your teeth and gums. If you’re attending a holiday party this year or receiving sweets as gifts, don’t stress out too much about overindulging in a sweet treat. Monitor how often you indulge by staying mindful of the amount of time between snacks. Rinse with water after eating sugary foods and drinks to rinse away debris and bacteria that can erode tooth enamel and cause cavities. Then you can brush your teeth as soon as possible after snacking to help remove food particles from your mouth and prevent tooth decay. Make sure your children also brush their teeth at least twice a day for two minutes at a time with fluoride toothpaste. Remind them to use a gentle circular motion to clean their teeth and gums and rinse their mouth with water after each meal or snack. For the best dental care tailored to your unique needs, visit Main Street Dental at 3195 S Main St Ste 225, South Salt Lake, UT 84115, or call (801) 467-2255.