Bad Habits That Can Damage Your Teeth
Dental habits that can lead to stained teeth
There are many beverages that are part and parcel of everyday life. Unfortunately, these beverages can have a staining effect on the teeth, particularly if not consumed in moderation.
Coffee is one of the leading causes of stained teeth, to the extent that some Taringa dentists, Indooroopilly dentists and other dentists near me advise limiting your intake, rinsing your mouth with water, or even brushing after drinking.
The pigment of the coffee, which is known as chromogens, is responsible for the staining of the tooth enamel. If you drink black coffee, you might be especially vulnerable to tooth staining. Adding milk to your coffee can help to minimise any staining that occurs.
Other major culprits include but are not limited to red wine and tea, which due to their high tannin content can discolour the teeth.
It is not only dark-coloured beverages that can affect the teeth, but beverages that are high in acids too. Fruit juice, some soft drinks such as cola, and even white wine, can all affect the teeth due to their high acidity levels. This acid can eat away at the enamel and expose the slightly off-colour tooth structure underneath. The issue is made worse by the high sugar levels in these drinks, which can also lead to plaque and decay.
Unfortunately, it’s not just about what you drink – it’s also about what you eat. Foods can also stain your teeth. For example, beetroot and berries have juices that are rich in colour and can stain the teeth. Even excessive consumption of tomato-based sauces can effect the colour of the teeth over time.
The other major cause of stained teeth is smoking. Smoking can also lead to gum disease, and every Fig Tree Pocket dentist or Indooroopilly dentist will advise against smoking because of the damage it can do to your oral health. It can potentially even lead to oral cancer.
Stained teeth can have a detrimental effect on confidence and self-esteem. It can make a person uncomfortable to smile in public and dislike their own appearance. The issue with tooth discolouration is that it can be ‘insidious’ and sneak up on you if you don’t pay attention. Then suddenly, it can feel like it’s too late and you’re contacting the emergency dentist for a quick solution.
We are all about positivity at our Pullenvale dentist. We are never judgmental of appearance, but we do want to support you to look how you would like to. At our Indooroopilly dentist, there is always cause for hope – we have seen tooth whitening correct discoloured teeth again and again.
Your Taringa dentist, Pullenvale dentist, or Chelmer dentist offers in- whitening solutions. This involves the application of a strong peroxide gel to your teeth, which is activated using a special kind of light to achieve the bleaching effect.
Dental habits that lead to decayed teeth
Tooth decay is another tooth condition that can relate to diet. Tooth decay is literally when the tooth enamel is worn away by the acids in plaque, resulting in the loss of tooth enamel from the teeth. It can present as discolouration, or a white patch, but in time it can lead to a holein the tooth. Such holes are commonly referred to as cavities or caries by your dentist Indooroopilly.
In itself, tooth decay is unsightly, but it can also lead to significant oral pain. When the tooth enamel is lost, this can expose the more vulnerable pulp or less protected areas of the tooth, behind the enamel. This can lead to hot and cold sensitivity, or pain when chewing and biting.
So, what exactly is the cause of tooth decay? Understanding why it happens is the best way to prevent tooth decay from happening in the first place. As much as we might like to think the opposite, everyone’s mouth is a haven for bacteria. Some of these are good bacteria, others bad bacteria. When plaque builds up around the teeth, it can become a breeding ground for bacteria.
When sugar is consumed, it can react with the bacteria to generate acid, which then eats away at the teeth. Saliva is your friend against tooth decay because it helps to clear out sugar and to fight against the acidic effect. From this we can infer three habits that lead to tooth decay are: 1) excessive sugar consumption, 2) too little saliva, 3) poor dental hygiene.
Point 1 is clear cut. Reducing sugar intake will reduce the risk of tooth decay. Your Indooroopilly dentist, Taringa dentist or other dentist near me will recommend that you reduce your intake of foods and drinks including cakes, lollies, biscuits, chocolate, ice-cream, and high-sugar drinks such as soft drinks and artificially sweetened fruit juices.
In terms of increasing saliva levels to ensure a healthy mouth, there are a few things you can do. Firstly, drink plenty of water. This will not only keep you off sweet drinks, but it will also keep you hydrated and keep your saliva levels healthy. Secondly, consider chewing sugar-free gum after meals, which will lead to increased saliva levels. Thirdly, look at what might be causing your dry mouth – which can sometimes result from certain medicines and non-dental treatments or health conditions.
Finally, poor dental hygiene is perhaps the leading cause of tooth decay. To reduce tooth decay, it’s necessary not only to brush and floss twice a day, but to do it properly, and to use a dentist-recommended toothpaste, brush, and floss. Similarly, it’s vital to regularly visit your Indooroopilly dentist for a six-monthly check-up. They will be able to detect tooth decay and stop it in its tracks.
Once tooth decay has occured, there are a number of treatments available at your local dentist near me. Most commonly and in the early stages of a cavity, this includes a tooth-coloured filling. If the decay has advanced and affected the dental pulp, a more extensive root canal procedure may be necessary to prevent your pain and retain your natural tooth. It may also involve a number of preventative measures, such as fissure sealants to prevent plaque building up in the deep crevices of your molars (back teeth)
Dental habits that can lead to gum disease
Not all gum disease is the same and can occur differently for different people, as your dentist Indooroopilly knows all too well. However, there are also common patterns that emerge with gum disease, that are closely related to bad dental habits.
Gum disease usually results when plaque builds up on the teeth along the gum line. This can be the hardest part of the teeth to successfully brush, because it may feel unnatural or even a little sensitive to brush on the gums. When this bacteria-containing plaque builds up, the gums can react with an inflammatory response, which is the immune systems way of dealing with the bacterial threat. Ironically, this response which is designed to keep you healthy can actually result in bleeding, swelling, redness and inflammation of the gums near the problematic teeth.
In its early stages, gum disease is known as gingivitis. Gingivitis is a relatively surface level disease of the gums, at the point where gum and tooth meet. It can be aggravated by brushing or eating, resulting in blood. It may also be visible as swelling or a red discolouration of the gums.
At this point, it is important to keep brushing well, and with the correct style of toothbrush – an electric toothbrush with soft bristle head is best. It is important to visit your Pullenvale dentist for a professional clean and guidance on managing the gum disease to prevent it moving onto the next stage of gum disease, periodontitis
Periodontitis follows on from gingivitis, and is a much more serious and advanced stage of gum disease. The label periodontitis comes into play when the structures that keep the teeth in place – known as the periodontium – are affected. The gums and the periodontium are inter-related, with the gums helping to keep the periodontium and therefore the teeth in their correct position. Affected areas can include the bone, the tooth root, and the inter-connecting fibres. Periodontitis tends to continually become worse, because it creates pockets where bacteria from plaque can become trapped, further exacerbating the issue.
Your Indooroopilly dentist fortunately has many services available that can prevent the development or advancement of serious gum disease. For example, River City Dental offers EMS airflow cleaning, which can remove plaque from along the gumline, preventing gum disease from occurring in the first place. Other modes of deep cleaning may be available from your dentist. They can also provide support or referral for antibiotics, pocket reduction surgery, scaling and root planing, among other solutions for gum disease.
A few other bad dental habits to be aware of
- Chewing on ice. It has been known to crack teeth and irritate the tooth nerves, resulting in tooth pain. Similarly, opening packets with your teeth can result in cracking or chipping. Your Indooroopilly dentist can let you know about problematic habits like this that you might assume are safe.
- Playing high contact sportswithout a mouth guard. This can result in smashed or cracked teeth, and also damaged gums, tongue, and lips. A comfortable, close-fitting, and custom-made mouthguard is available from your Indooroopilly dentist.
- Tooth grinding. This can result from high stress levels or due to an unconscious habit, and is made more difficult to address because it often happens overnight. Nightguards and other corrective devices are available from your Indooroopilly dentist.
- Thumb sucking. This one generally only applies to children, but it can lead to serious misalignment of the teeth, which can affect appearance and bite alignment. If the misalignment is in the adult teeth, your child may need to visit an Indooroopilly dentist that specialises in children’s dentistry to look into orthodontic treatments including braces.
What to do if my bad dental habits have already affected my teeth
We often learn from experience but, it’s only after the damage has set in that we feel regret. Fortunately, your Indooroopilly dentist can offer a range of treatments to resolve your dental issues arising from bad habits.
These include but are not limited to same day dental crowns, dental bridges, dental implants, dental veneers, Suresmile aligners, root canal treatment, and teeth whitening. The correct solution will depend on your individual circumstances, and an experienced Indooroopilly dentist, Taringa dentist, Pullenvale dentist, Fig Tree Pocket dentist, or Chelmer dentist will be able to assist to find the correct, budget-friendly solution for you.
I’ve been doing everything right, why do I have dental problems?
In this article, we have been talking about bad dental habits, but the truth is, there is also such a thing as bad dental luck. We can sometimes be born with congenital conditions that we can do little about. Similarly, we may have health issues in other parts of the body that affect the health of the teeth. Sometimes, as hard as we try, dental issues will emerge. Given we are all vulnerable to tooth problems, even when we follow the most rigorous dental routines, it is important to visit the dentist on a regular basis to ensure any issues are discovered in a timely manner.
If you have missing teeth, due to bad habits or pure bad luck, River City Dental can help you to have a functional and realistic-looking replacement. Our experienced dental clinic in Indooroopilly specialises in implant dentistry. Dental implants are a two-step process. After the dentist has assessed your suitability for the dental implant procedure, the first step is to surgically implant the base of the implant into your gum and jawbone. Once this is set in place, a dental crown will be applied. If dental implants are not right for you, your dentist may also recommend dental bridges as a solution for missing teeth
For advice on how to prevent damage to your teeth or for treatment for existing damage, contact dentist near me on (07) 3667 9595 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an appointment today.
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