Everyone has at least one habit. Some of them, such as running, can be good for you. Other habits aren’t so great – especially for your teeth. Many people just assume that, as long as they brush and floss when they are supposed to, they can do anything with their teeth. The truth is, so many habits can be just as detrimental to your teeth as not brushing or flossing – some are even worse. Here are three habits that are bad for your teeth.
1. Biting your fingernails.
It should go without saying that you shouldn’t bite your fingernails. A lot of people think the reason is just because of sanitary reasons, but biting your fingernails can actually do a lot of harm to your teeth.
One of the biggest things that biting your fingernails can do to your teeth is it can cause them to chip and crack. The act of biting through a fingernail causes such friction between the tooth and nail that it can cause chips, and even cracks throughout the tooth, to form.
So, the next time you go to bite your fingernails, resist the urge and grab some fingernail clippers instead.
2. Not brushing your teeth before bed at night.
Most people are in the habit of brushing their teeth right after they get up in the morning, but will often forget to brush them before bed at night. You may think there is no harm as long as you brush them as soon as you wake up, but there is actually a lot of harm with this bad dental habit.
If you don’t brush your teeth before you go to sleep, then that means particles from all of the food and drinks you have consumed that day will remain on your teeth. As the hours pass during the night, those food particles turn into plaque, which is bacterial buildup on your teeth that can cause gum disease and even tooth loss.
You can nip this bad habit by simply making it a priority to brush your teeth before bed every night. Not only will you go to bed with fresh breath, but you will help prevent dental problems later on in life.
3. Using your teeth to open or cut things.
Another really bad habit for your teeth is using them as a tool. You should never use your teeth to open or cut things. You may think your teeth are tough and can handle the added pressure that these actions put on them, but they really are more fragile than most people think.
Opening or cutting things with your teeth can lead to tooth breakage. It may not happen the first time you do it, but once it becomes a habit, your chances of breaking your teeth increase. The next time you need to open a bottle or tear open a package, look for other means of accomplishing the task instead of using your teeth.
For more tooth care tips, contact a company like Spring Dental Dental Care.Learn More
Barodontalgia, also called tooth squeeze, is a toothache caused by pressure changes. It tends to affect divers and airplane passengers. Here are five things you need to know about this painful condition.
What are the symptoms of barodontalgia?
The main symptom of barodontalgia is a toothache in one or more of your teeth. Other symptoms such as cracks in your teeth are also possible. If you develop a toothache after diving or flying, you need to see your dentist.
How do pressure changes cause pain?
The volume of gases changes in response to changes in atmospheric pressure. Gases that are in an enclosed space, like inside your tooth, can’t expand or contract at the same rate as gases that aren’t enclosed, like the gas all around you. The changes in pressure inside and outside of your tooth lead to the pain that divers and airline passengers experience.
Can barodontalgia damage your teeth?
Some people only experience a sharp toothache or the sensation that their tooth is being squeezed, but other barodontalgia sufferers aren’t so lucky. Some people’s teeth are severely damaged by the pressure changes. The alveolar mucosa, the soft tissue that lines the sockets of the teeth, can rupture. Some people’s teeth crack or break from the pressure differences.
Studies of navy divers and people who work on submarines also suggests that prolonged exposure to these pressure changes can lead to tooth loss. After ten years, navy divers showed a 300% increase in lost teeth as compared to people working on dry land, while submarine workers had a 186% increase.
How can you prevent it?
Barodontalgia tends to affect people who have unresolved dental problems like abscesses or cysts. People with large fillings or large restorations (like crowns) also tend to be affected. You can prevent barodontalgia by seeing your dentist before you go diving or get on a plane. Your dentist can treat any unresolved issues as well as check your restorations to make sure they won’t cause problems.
Other possible contributors to barodontalgia are sinus infections and having recently undergone surgery, so if possible, try to save the diving or flying for after you’ve recovered.
How common is it?
Barodontalgia has been reported to occur in between 0.26% and 2.8% of divers, airline passengers, and airline crews. It tends to occur at altitudes of 600 to 1500 meters (1968 to 4921 feet) or depths of 10 to 25 meters (32 to 82 feet).
If you develop a toothache after being exposed to pressure changes, see a dentist, like those at Empire Dental, immediately.Learn More
It’s no secret that candy is bad for your teeth, but does that really mean you have to choose between having healthy chompers and indulging your craving for sweets? If you’re willing to indulge your cravings in moderation and follow a few rules when doing so, maybe not. Following these three rules will reduce the harm your teeth suffer when you do choose to eat a little candy, and talk with a dentist for other tips on keeping your teeth in good shape.
Say “no” to overly sticky candy.
Sticky caramels and taffy are a bad idea for several reasons. First, they can pull fillings out of your teeth so that you need to have them replaced. Sometimes they may only loosen the filling, and you may not be aware of it until bacteria work their way into the crevices around the sides of the loose filling and begin causing decay. Second, sticky candies stick to the surface of your teeth, exposing them to sugar for longer periods of time. This sugar feeds oral bacteria, which then release acids that lead to tooth decay.
Instead of sticky candy, choose candy that has a bit of a crunchy texture and does not stick to your teeth. Chocolate bars and crispy, wafer-like candy are good choices.
When eating hard candies, stick with smaller sizes — and not suckers.
Sucking on hard candy is not particularly good for your teeth, either, since it bathes your whole mouth in sugar for the entire period of time that you suck. If you must have hard candy, choose smaller pieces, so they are not spending as much time in your mouth. Definitely say “no” to suckers — their large size means a long period of sugar exposure for your teeth. Sticking to sugar-free hard candy is another option if you don’t want to choose between sweets and dental health. Some people find the taste unappealing, while others can barely tell the difference between sugar-free and regular hard candy, so it’s worth the try to see which camp you fall into.
Rinse your mouth out afterwards, or brush if possible.
Ideally, you would brush your teeth after indulging in a candy treat. However, this is not always possible. People tend to munch on candy when they’re in traffic, at a friend’s house, or sitting in a waiting room. If you can’t brush, at least rinse your mouth out with water after eating candy. This will rinse most of the sugar off the surface of your teeth, slowing the tooth decay process.Learn More
Dentures are for older people. At least, that’s what you keep telling yourself. Unfortunately, if you keep delaying the dental work you need, you may do more than just postpone your dentures. If you suffer from gum disease and your dentist has recommended dentures, you shouldn’t postpone the procedure. Here are some of the health and dental issues you could face if you do.
Gum disease is the leading cause of premature tooth loss in adults. If you suffer from gum disease that has not responded to treatment, your dentist may have recommended that you have your teeth extracted to prevent further damage.
Failure to follow your dentist’s recommendations may lead to dental infections that spread beyond the area around the affected tooth. In fact, infections can spread through your body, causing a septicemia – an infection of the blood system.
Gum disease does more than just affect your gums. Gum disease, particularly periodontitis, also affects your jaw bone. Over time, untreated gum disease and tooth decay can cause bone loss. When this happens, even your healthy teeth will begin to suffer.
Your jaw bone will shrink, which will cause your healthy teeth to become loose. Not only that, but if you lose too much of your jaw bone, your dentures may not fit properly.
Unfortunately, once you begin to lose bone in your jaw, it will never grow back. The more severe the bone loss, the more difficult it will be to fit your dentures properly.
Gum disease doesn’t just cause dental problems. It can also cause serious health issues, especially if it goes untreated for too long. If you’re delaying dentures because you think you’re too young for dentures, you may be jeopardizing your health. Take a look at a couple of health problems you may develop.
Periodontitis and the infections associated with the disease can lead to heart disease and strokes. Research has shown that gum disease can also cause existing heart conditions to get worse.
According to research, if you have diabetes, you’re at an increased risk of developing gum disease. Unfortunately, gum disease makes it difficult for your body to regulate blood sugar levels.
You want to keep your teeth as long as possible. However, if you have gum disease, you may doing more harm than good. This list will help you understand why postponing your dental work may be jeopardizing your health.
Contact a clinic like Village Green Denture Clinic for more information.Learn More
When you look closely at your teeth, it may appear that the enamel covering them is white. In actuality, the enamel is the clear top layer of the teeth that looks white because the white colored dentin layer underneath shows through. Keeping your teeth looking white and healthy can depend on the condition of the enamel. These are some things that can cause erosion of the tooth enamel.
Drinking Acidic Drinks
It is common knowledge that dark colored drinks, such as red wine or coffee, can stain the enamel of the teeth. This leaves you with dark looking teeth that are very unattractive.
However, did you know that the acid in red wine, coffee and soft drinks with a high sugar content can also cause the enamel to erode? Daily consumption of liquids that are highly acidic and contain sugar wears away the surface of the tooth enamel.
Those who suffer from digestive problems also commonly have dental problems. This is due to acid reflux from the stomach coming into contact with the teeth frequently. Acid from the stomach can cause the enamel to erode in the same way as acidic drinks.
Eating disorders often trigger dental problems. This is particularly true for those with bulimia who force themselves to vomit frequently and cause acidic stomach fluids to pass through the teeth.
Dry mouth is another cause for erosion of the tooth enamel. Saliva is necessary to wash away damaging acids from foods and drinks. However, those who suffer from dry mouth do not have enough natural saliva to do this. This can cause the enamel to begin to erode rather quickly if not treated.
Those who use certain illicit drugs often suffer from dry mouth. This condition is also caused by certain prescription medications. It can be treated with dental products that help make the mouth produce more saliva.
Poor Dental Care Habits
Unfortunately, one of the most common causes of enamel erosion is poor dental care. If you do not brush and floss your teeth regularly, food remains on and between your teeth. Bacteria starts to grow and the damage to the enamel begins. This problem can be avoided by brushing and flossing after each meal.
Once the enamel begins to erode, you may notice spots on your teeth that seem softer and tend to flake off. When this occurs, it can lead to tooth decay as the dentin layer is no longer protected in the areas where the enamel has worn away. If you’re suffering from enamel erosion talk to a dentist (such as Dr. Roland DiGregorio).Learn More
Tooth sensitivity is a problem where your teeth react to hot and cold temperatures in an extreme way, often causing a painful feeling. It happens after the protective enamel on your teeth weakens, exposing the material underneath it. There are a few things that you may be doing that is causing your enamel to break down prematurely, making your teeth feel overly sensitive.
Brushing Too Hard
Brushing twice a day is a great habit that will go a long way in protecting your teeth. Unfortunately, hard brushing does not make up for those times you forgot to brush, and could be causing more harm than good
Vigorous brushing is a way that the enamel on your teeth will weaken over time, exposing the dentin tubules underneath the enamel. If you naturally brush your teeth hard, consider switching to a softer toothbrush, because the bristles will not wear away at the enamel as easily.
Using Mouthwash Too Often
Mouthwash can freshen your breath and kill the germs that cause bacteria in your mouth, but it is possible to use mouthwash too often. Follow the directions, and stick to no more than once a day. Using mouthwash is not the only way to get fresh breath. Consider chewing gum after a meal instead. As long as it is sugar free gum, it should not do any damage to the enamel on your teeth.
Clenching And Grinding Your Teeth
If you have a bad habit of clenching or grinding your teeth, it could be a reason that your teeth are becoming more sensitive. The clenching and grinding motions slowly wear away at the protective enamel coating. Not only can it thin the enamel on your teeth, but eventually cause a tooth to crack.
For those that grind their teeth during the night unconsciously, you can have your dentist create a nighttime mouth guard for you.
Neglecting Dental Appointments
A cavity can lead to an increase in tooth sensitivity, because decay has caused your tooth to deteriorate through the enamel and exposed the dentin. That is why you need to visit a dentist regularly for your semi-annual 6 month appointment. Your dentist will also examine your teeth for thin enamel, and prescribe you a toothpaste that is designed to strengthen weak tooth enamel.
Now that you know more about what causes tooth sensitivity, you will take the necessary steps to prevent it from occurring to you. To find out more, contact a company like Forest Lawn Dental Clinic.Learn More
Having to deal with memory lapses makes it difficult for patients with dementia to remember something as simple as brushing their teeth. They therefore need help doing so. However, given that they are susceptible to heightened threat perception, this can also be difficult.
But even with all these challenges, taking care of a loved one with dementia might have still been manageable were it not for the complexity that medications add to the mix. Here is how drugs may be to blame for your problems.
Dry mouth effect
Most sedatives, antipsychotics and antidepressants that people with dementia take have serious side effects. Having a dry mouth is one of these side effects. And given the role that saliva plays when it comes to cleaning a person’s mouth, this may be one of the things that is making your work harder.
Without sufficient saliva, your loved one faces an increased risk of bacteria attacks. Add to this the discomfort that the lack of saliva lubrication will cause and what you end up with is an irritated patient who has an increased likelihood of contracting dental diseases.
The best way to go around this problem is to ask a doctor for an alternative prescription. And if there is none, opting for artificial saliva can help reduce the effect of a dry mouth. Making sure that your loved one takes an ample amount of water throughout the day will also help.
Syrup-based medication threat
Syrup-based medications usually contain sugars. These sugars tend to create a bacteria-friendly environment, something that will expose a loved one to the increased risk of dental infections.
Some dementia medications have sugar-free alternatives. It is therefore always advisable that you ask your loved one’s doctor if there are alternatives to the syrup-based medications that he or she is taking. If there are, use them. Doing so will go a long way in helping to reduce the increased tooth-decay risks that your loved one is exposed to.
Some drugs prescribed to dementia patients affect their muscles. They sometimes cause uncontrolled movements of a loved one’s jaws, something that can cause an incredibly high amount of discomfort. Cleaning the teeth of such a patient will therefore be a challenge.
If this happens to a loved one, it is advisable that you take him or her to a dentist. If he or she is using dentures, removal may be recommended – in severe cases. Also, a doctor may prescribe medication to counter the effects of the drug. For more information, speak with experts like those at the Durham Dental Centre.Learn More