Habits such as smoking, teeth grinding, chewing ice, nail-biting, using teeth as tools, and aggressive brushing can lead to permanent damage to the teeth. These habits can also increase the risk of certain dental conditions such as cavities, gum disease, and tooth loss. Here is how these habits can prove devastating to oral health.
Cigarettes contain many chemicals that can erode the enamel of your teeth, leaving you susceptible to staining and decay. They are also a reason for oral cancer. The nicotine in cigarettes can also damage your gums, increasing your risk of developing gum disease. If you’re a smoker, we can provide you with advice for quitting tobacco, as well as products that can help decrease your risk for tooth decay. These include fluoride rinses, which help strengthen tooth enamel and repair early signs of tooth decay.
Many people enjoy chewing on ice for its cool and refreshing taste. However, people don’t realize how dangerous this habit can be. When you chew on the ice, it can break apart parts of your tooth, causing chips and cracks. It can also cause sensitivity due to enamel erosion. If you’ve noticed that you’re experiencing tooth pain or sensitivity after consuming something cold, then it may be because of damage to your teeth from chewing the ice. To treat this problem, we can provide restorative treatment such as a filling or a dental crown to restore the health of your teeth.
People who grind their teeth in their sleep are putting a lot of strain on their jaw joints and the surrounding muscles of the face. Over time, this can lead to pain in the joints, headaches, and difficulty opening the mouth wide or from side to side. It can also cause chips and fractures in teeth. To reduce teeth grinding, patients can talk to their dentist about wearing a mouth guard at night while they sleep. Mouth guards are custom-made to fit the patient’s mouth and protect their teeth from damage. Some dentists can also provide medications that help relax a patient’s jaw muscles and relieve some of the tension in the joint to reduce headaches.
Nails protect fingers and snag small objects like keys or coins. Unfortunately, they also grab pieces of food that get lodged in the grooves of the teeth and cause decay. Additionally, nail-biters often make a habit of chewing their nails instead of cleaning them, which is yet another way they damage the health of their mouth.
Call Dr. Ronald F. Jacob, DMD, at (386) 445-6111 if you wish to learn more about general dentistry procedures. We are located at 17 Old King's Road N, Palm Coast, FL 32137.