While you were in the bathroom doing your morning routine, you noticed that something was off with your smile. When you moved closer to the mirror, you noticed that a small chip was missing from your tooth. Thinking back on the last few days, you’re not sure how this could have happened. It’s not like your tripped or hit your mouth against a hard surface, because you would have remembered that. Some of your bad oral habits could affect your smile. Your dentist in Metairie lets you in on 4 unexpected ways your teeth may have gotten chipped below.
Grinding And Clenching
If you frequently clench and grind your teeth, not only can this wear down your enamel, but it can also cause your teeth to chip or crack. Because of anxiety or stress, you may do this in your sleep and be completely unaware that it’s happening. Some common signs that you’re grinding your teeth at night include:
- A headache when you wake up
- Increased tooth sensitivity
- Worn-out teeth
- Tired or tight jaw muscles
- Pain and sensitivity in your jaw and neck
This problem can also be a factor of malocclusion, so it’s important to let your dentist know if you’re experiencing these symptoms. They can provide you with treatment options like a custom-fitted night guard to reduce the impact your grinding is having on your teeth.
Most of the time you bite your nails, you probably don’t even notice you’re doing it. This habit can transfer harmful bacteria to your mouth and put your teeth at risk of being chipped. Plus, each time you reposition your jaw to chew your nails, you could be affecting your bite.
Chewing On Ice
It’s tempting to chew on the remaining ice at the bottom of your drink, but it can cause your teeth to break or crack. It can also wear down your tooth enamel and put your existing dental procedures like fillings and crowns at risk.
When you frequently consume foods and drinks that contain high amounts of sugar, starch, or acid, this can have a detrimental impact on your oral health. If you have a sweet tooth, be mindful that harmful oral bacteria like to use sugar as food, so constantly exposing your mouth to it can cause bacteria buildup. Also, when starch breaks down, it turns into sugar and can cause dental decay and infection.
When your enamel is weakened and you eat crunchy, sticky, or hard foods, it can cause your teeth to become damaged. To avoid putting your oral health and smile at risk, it’s best to limit your consumption of these products and replace them with foods like fibrous vegetables and white dairy products.
Sometimes, it’s important to do more than just brush and floss daily to maintain a healthy and happy smile. Keeping your bad oral habits in check can save you from needing cosmetic services and keep your pearly whites looking great!
About the Author
Dr. Mayda Ferguson enjoys serving the community of Metairie where she grew up. She’s been providing her patients with healthy smiles that they’re proud to show off for nearly two decades. She stays up to date with the most recent dental advancements and regularly attends continuing education courses so she can provide her patients with the high-quality care they deserve. For questions or to schedule a cleaning and checkup, visit Second Line Family Dentistry’s website or contact 504-833-2220.