Habits That Ruin Your Teeth and Gum
When you have a smile with a great set of teeth you are comfortable with it and enjoy smiling. Healthy smiles can quickly become less than beautiful through simple habits that can destroy your teeth and gums. Their health depends on the right kind of consistent oral care and avoiding certain bad habits.
Eating Too Much Sugar
The bacteria in your mouth that causes cavities and gum disease feeds on sugar. When it consumes it, it turns it into acid. If you like to sip on sweetened coffee, tea, or soda through the day, you are enabling the bacteria to multiply faster and produce more acid than usual. You will see cavities forming faster and the increased acid will likely cause gum disease.
Consuming Acidic Foods and Drinks
Many foods and drinks contain acid in them. This is especially true of sodas, fruit juices, citrus fruit, and more. Lemons are the most acidic, and sodas are only slightly higher than that on the pH scale. This means that the additional acid in your mouth is going to speed up the erosion of your tooth enamel, causing teeth to first become sensitive, then cavities will develop. You are better off not drinking these acidic drinks or foods very often. When you do, be sure to swish some water around your mouth to rinse the acid off your teeth.
This bad habit is one that will almost certainly lead to serious gum disease – periodontitis. Tobacco use of any kind will reduce the blood flow in your gums. This limits the oxygen that reaches your gums and they will start to die off and you will have receding gums. It also reduces the nutrients that reach your gums, weakening your immune system and resistance to gum disease.
Letting Plaque Accumulate on Your Teeth
If you do not brush your teeth often (twice a day) or floss, the plaque is building up on your teeth. Plaque is the bacteria that produce acid and it is always in your mouth. When the bacteria stay on your teeth, it is directly applying acid to your tooth enamel.
Even worse is that the bacteria and acid will irritate the gums. This will start an immune reaction that will lead to gum disease. Eventually, it will destroy the gums, the ligaments that support the gums, and the jawbone. Your teeth will start to become loose, and may even fall out if you do not receive dental treatment.
Chewing on Hard Objects
If you like to chew on objects such as ice or pencils, you are risking damaging your teeth. Chewing on ice in particular is risky because it lowers the temperature of your teeth, which makes them more susceptible to cracking or chipping.
Following the fad of getting your tongue or lip pierced can lead to dental trouble. People that get oral piercings often like to play with the piercing by forcing it against the backside of their teeth. This may eventually chip and crack teeth and it can lead to gum recession. This can lead to cavities on your tooth roots and gum disease.
Grinding Teeth or Clenching Your Jaw
Grinding your teeth is often done while asleep. People of all ages can do this and may not even know it. A dentist can tell. It may be the result of a breathing problem such as sleep apnea because many people with this problem grind their teeth.
Clenching your jaw is often done while working and it is often caused by stress. Holding your teeth tight against other teeth can lead to chipped and cracked teeth, as well as shortened teeth.
Both of these problems will not only damage teeth but can also lead to jaw pain, headaches, and other problems. Your teeth can be protected by dental mouthguards, which can be worn while you sleep.
Being on Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills, along with other hormonal changes, can cause your gums to become inflamed. They will also be likely to bleed more easily. This can lead to gum disease. Birth control pills will also lengthen the healing time after oral surgery.
Not Eating Healthy Foods
Eating junk food regularly is going to show sooner or later in your mouth. Your gums and teeth need the right nutrition in them to protect them. Every day the acid is causing your teeth to lose minerals which will weaken them. When you eat right, the replacement minerals are in your saliva and it replenishes those lost minerals. When you do not eat right, the immune system in your gums cannot successfully fight against gum disease and cavities.
If you have teeth problems as a result of one or more of these bad habits, it is best to get dental treatment to correct the problems before more serious dental issues develop. If you want to restore your smile and get healthy teeth again, Dr. Kumar T. Vadivel, DDS, FDS RCS, MS, a Board Certified Periodontist, can treat gum disease and restore your oral health. He also provides cosmetic dentistry of all kinds in his offices in the Carrollton, TX, and Grapevine, TX areas. Nearly all dental health plans are accepted. For a consultation or dental checkup, you can contact his office today at (817) 756-8578.