This two-part article series explores 10 habits that could be doing irreversible damage to your teeth and could lead to tooth loss in the long-term.

Welcome back to our two-part article series on the seemingly innocent habits and behaviors that could be destroying your oral health and hygiene. In Part 1 of the series, we discussed the following advice from our Chicago implant dentist:

  1. Don’t chew ice,
  2. Drink water instead of juice, soda and energy drinks,
  3. Drink tap, spring or mineral water, not filtered water,
  4. Don’t play contact sports without a mouth guard,
  5. Floss every single day!

Let’s find out what some more of those habits and behaviors are so that we can answer the question: Are you wrecking your teeth?

Let’s find out!

Advice from the Implant Dentist in Chicago # 6: Ignoring Bleeding Gums

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Contrary to popular belief, it is NOT normal for your gums to bleed when you brush them. Either you are brushing them too vigorously, or pressing down too hard, or the gums have become weakened by a bacterial infection. That’s right, bleeding gums may be a sign of gingivitis or even periodontal (gum) disease, an advanced oral bacterial infection of the soft tissue surrounding the teeth. Try to be gentler when brushing your teeth and if your gums still tear, book an appointment with your implant dentist in Chicago!

Advice from the Chicago Implant Dentist # 7: Teeth Grinding and Jaw Clenching

The modern lifestyle is incredibly stressful and one of the ways we sub-consciously express this tension is to clench our jaws and grind our teeth. It may seem innocent enough, but over the years, this can put an incredible amount of stress on the biting surface of the teeth. In the long term, teeth grinding (Bruxism) can wear the dental enamel right down to the softer dentine underneath. Jaw clenching can cause temporomandibular joint disorders, as well as fracturing and cracking of the teeth. The cure? Less stress! In the meanwhile, get a mouth guard fitted and wear it at night to prevent sleep grinding from destroying your pearly whites.

Advice from the Implant Dentist in Chicago # 8: Over-indulging in Booze

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Most of us enjoy the occasional tipple, but one must always be wary of quantity and frequency. Alcoholic beverages tend to be acidic and high in sugar, which creates a favorable environment for bacteria and tooth decay. Additionally, over-indulging in alcohol tends to be linked with other habits that are terrible for your teeth, such as smoking and unhealthy eating. And when you stumble in at 4am, who really has the energy (or physical co-ordination) to brush their teeth, right?

Advice from the Chicago Implant Dentist # 9: Chewing Tobacco

If you think you’re avoiding the health risks associated with enjoying tobacco by chewing it rather than smoking it, think again. Nicotine and the many other toxic chemicals in tobacco stain your teeth and irritate the gums, causing them to become inflamed and swollen. Tobacco also causes dry mouth, gum disease and oral cancer.

A Final Note from the Chicago Implant Dentist

By avoiding all the seemingly innocent habits and behaviors described in this two-part series, in addition to the more obvious dental sins (smoking, poor oral hygiene, drug abuse and avoiding the dentist), you really can keep your teeth and gums in excellent lifelong condition. Don’t curse your ignorance at a later stage in life… be aware of the risks to your oral health and avoid them!