We’ve all heard about the negative effects of coffee, tea and Prosecco on your teeth. Dentists have also warned patients against habits such as nail biting, chewing on ice and using your teeth as a tool. Your parents might have also told you it’s a crime to skip brushing at night.
Almost everyone has an idea about what’s good and what’s bad for our oral health. But, there are other more harmful things that may still come as a surprise to many of us.
Breathing Through Your Mouth Too Often
Most people breathe through their mouth while engaging in sports. Jeremy Hoffman, both a dentist and a runner, says doing so can leave your mouth extremely dry. Your saliva is responsible for washing away debris and neutralizing acids from food and bacteria. When there’s less saliva in the mouth, you are at an increased risk for cavities.
When doing any kind of high-intensity training, the natural composition and consistency of the saliva changes. It becomes sticky and mucous-like instead of fluid and hydrating. Your mouth then traps decay-causing sugars and acids instead of rinsing them away.
If you can, bring a bottle of water with you at all times. Drinking water in between exercise and training sessions is important for retaining moisture in the mouth.
Frequent throwing up is a symptom for those who suffer from gastroenteritis, hyperacidity and other digestive irregularities. For instance, women experience morning sickness in the early stages of their pregnancy. Other people feel nauseous after a long ride in a car. Whatever the cause, vomiting can be dangerous to your teeth.
Whenever we heave, the acid from your stomach comes into contact with your tooth enamel. This causes the back of your teeth to soften and erode.
Cleaning up right away won’t help either. In fact, brushing your teeth right after vomiting can further damage your teeth. It’s best to wait for at least an hour to brush your teeth right after vomiting.
Stress and Anxiety
Hollywood star Demi Moore recently admitted to losing two of her teeth due to anxiety. Dr Rob Wain, a UK-based dentist, says that Moore’s condition is more common than we think. In his own clinic, he sees symptoms in his patients that are associated with stress.
Those who suffer from chronic stress or anxiety also grind their teeth and clench their jaw. This happens during times of stress, deep concentration and sleep.
‘People might not be necessarily aware they are grinding or clenching but may notice their teeth falling ever so slightly loose,’ explains Dr Wain.
When excessive grinding persists over time, the enamel may eventually begin to wear down or flake. Because of this, the teeth may appear shorter and more yellowish in colour.
Dr Wain says that prevention is key to keeping the symptoms at bay. Night guards are effective in protecting the teeth from excessive grinding. Doing jaw exercises can also relax the muscles during stressful situations.
Visit a Professional
If you have any of these problems and would like to consult a dentist near you, don’t hesitate to contact us. Casey Dentists is comprised of a talented and experienced team of dentists in Townsville, QLD. Our advice is backed by years of research, ensuring you get the care you need.