Worst Habits For Oral Health

Worst Habits For Oral Health

Bad habits often lead to tooth decay and cavities. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar, creating acids that eat away at tooth enamel. Cavities, or tooth decay, can cause pain, sensitivity, and holes in the teeth. Cavities can eventually cause tooth loss and an increased risk of other serious health problems.

  • Nail Biting

Most adults bite their nails from time to time; however, it can be a bad habit that's hard to break. Many dentists recommend avoiding this bad habit for many reasons. Nail biting can damage teeth and cause other oral problems. It can lead to chipped or cracked front teeth and can also damage your enamel over time. Enamel is the strong outer layer of our teeth that can be damaged when we eat certain foods or use careless oral hygiene practices. When our enamel is damaged, it's necessary to repair it with a cosmetic dentistry procedure like dental crowns, inlays, and onlays or bonding. These procedures require a greater investment of time and money than preventative measures such as wearing mouth guards while sleeping or refraining from chewing one's fingernails. So, it's important to try to break the habit of nail-biting at the earliest.

  • Smoking

Cigarettes contain more than 4,000 chemicals, including tar and nicotine. These chemical components can cause significant oral health problems. Nicotine affects blood flow, making it harder for your gums to heal from inflammation or irritation. Additionally, tobacco products can stain your teeth, cause bad breath, damage your gum tissues and increase your risk for gum disease. Cigarette smoking is also highly associated with cancer of the mouth, throat, tongue, larynx, esophagus, pancreas, and bladder. It also causes other serious health problems such as heart disease, lung disease, stroke, high blood pressure, emphysema, infertility, diabetes, osteoporosis, and cataracts.

There are approximately 42 million adult smokers in the United States. Tobacco use kills over 480,000 people each year in the U.S. alone. The toxins in cigarettes weaken the immune system, making it difficult for the body to fight infections and heal itself following dental procedures like root canals. If you have the habit of smoking or using tobacco, quitting them at the earliest is the best thing you can do for your oral health now.

  • Brushing Teeth Aggressively

Brushing teeth aggressively or improperly can lead to enamel erosion or wearing thin of tooth enamel over time. Enamel is the teeth's protective layer against bacteria, so when it is worn away, your teeth are left vulnerable to decay and infection. Proper brushing technique and frequency are the first line of defense against oral health issues. We recommend brushing at least twice a day for two minutes each session using a toothbrush with a soft-bristled head and toothpaste with fluoride. We also recommend replacing your old toothbrush every three to four months to prevent the buildup of bacteria and disease. If you experience a toothache or sensitivity while brushing, you may be experiencing enamel erosion. Schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

  • Teeth Grinding

Grinding the teeth can lead to several dental problems, including a sore jaw, earaches, and headaches. If you experience these symptoms, you should consult your dentist right away for a mouthguard to protect your teeth and jaw from the harmful effects of grinding your teeth at night.

  • Using Teeth As Tools

Using one's teeth as a tool from time to time can be extremely dangerous for oral health. Repeatedly putting too much pressure on one spot can cause a chip or even a crack in the enamel. So, stop using your teeth to open bottles, tear packages, etc., and use appropriate tools instead.

  • Not Visiting The Dentist Regularly

Not visiting the dentist regularly can leave you with plaque or tartar buildup on your teeth that damage your oral health. This buildup of plaque causes cavities and gum disease. Studies have also linked oral health to chronic diseases such as diabetes, stroke, and cancer. So, to maintain good oral health, visit your dentist for a checkup and teeth cleaning at least twice a day. 

During the appointment, you will receive an oral cancer screening as well. If detected early, most forms of oral cancer are treatable. Regular appointments can also help your dentist monitor the health of your teeth and mouth over time and allow us to detect and treat.

Alta Vista Dental provides the best dental services in Livermore, CA, with the expertise of experienced dentists. Call 925-292-1459 and book your appointment to learn more ways to take care of your oral and dental health. 


3183 Independence Dr, Livermore, CA 94551

Office Hours

MON 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

TUE Closed

WED - FRI 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

SAT - SUN Closed

Get in Touch

Email: ayspunde@lbl.gov

Phone: (925) 292-1459