Six Bad Habits That Are Ruining Your Teeth and Gums

Posted by Ami Desai on Nov 15 2022, 01:38 AM

Good habits can protect your oral health and prevent cavities, gum disease, and more. Conversely, bad habits can cause damage to your oral health. Here are six bad habits that can damage your oral health.

  • Smoking

The nicotine in cigarettes not only stains the teeth and damages gums but also increases your risk of oral cancer. Furthermore, smoking restricts the flow of saliva, which naturally neutralizes acid to keep your teeth clean. Without enough saliva to help wash away food particles or bacteria, you're more likely to develop cavities or gum disease. So, if you spoke, consider speaking to your dentist about options for kicking the habit for good.

  • Teeth grinding

Although teeth grinding is often done during sleep, its effects can be felt throughout the day. Teeth grinding can cause sore jaws and headaches as well as wear down your teeth over time. To combat this habit, your dentist may suggest using a mouth guard at night to protect your teeth while you sleep.

Mouth guards can be made from flexible plastic or resin that molds to your bite. Mouth guards are typically used for sports injuries, but they can also be used to prevent nighttime teeth grinding. These devices are fitted by your dentist, and the treatment can be completed in as little as one visit to our office!

  • Chewing ice

Ice may seem like a harmless way to cool your drink on a hot day, but it's actually one of the worst habits you can form when it comes to your oral health. Extreme temperature changes can damage your teeth, causing cracks and breakage. It can also wear down tooth enamel, which can leave your teeth more sensitive and lead to tooth decay. Even chewing on ice can cause symptoms like jaw pain, headaches, and earaches.

Although it's great to enjoy an occasional cold beverage with ice, you should still be careful of how much you chew on the cubes. 

  • Nail biting

Biting nails can lead to chips and cracks in your teeth and can also cause root damage, which is irreversible. The bacteria in your mouth can enter the bloodstream through damaged roots, causing a plethora of health issues. If you have the habit of nail-biting, quit it as soon as possible.

  • Using teeth as tools

Many people use their teeth as a tool when they are trying to open things or pry something apart. Opening packages with your teeth can cause them to chip or even break if you apply too much force. Habits like these can also lead to the destruction of the teeth' enamel. A good way to break this habit is to keep scissors handy and use them.

  • Aggressive brushing

One negative habit of many is aggressive or hard brushing. Some people use their toothbrush as a scraper to get rid of plaque instead of a gentle scrub. This can lead to enamel erosion and cavities. Brushing your teeth too hard can also wear down your gum line and lead to receding gums. So, always use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gently brush your teeth. 

If you have any questions about oral care, Ami Desai, D.D.S., is here to help. For scheduling your appointments, please call (408) 946-0777 or visit our office at 440 E Calaveras Blvd, Milpitas, CA 95035. For more information, please contact us at 

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Ami Desai, D.D.S.

440 E Calaveras Blvd

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