Unusual Ways You’re Ruining Your Teeth

We all know that teeth grinding, lax dental hygiene and smoking adversely affects our oral health. What isn’t common knowledge are those seemingly simple habits that we do every day but are actually contributing to damaging our teeth and gums.

Curious to find out? Here are several ways you are ruining your mouth.

Using your teeth as tools

Using your teeth to tear meat apart is one thing. Using them to open bottle caps and tear open a bag of chips is another. That’s why scissors and bottle openers were invented: to cut and to open stuff so we won’t need to fracture our teeth. Aside from chips, cracks or a damaged filling or crown, this action can potentially break the teeth or create openings for tooth decay to take hold.

Piercing your tongue, lips or cheeks

Although trendy, facial piercings can create dental complications. Individuals with oral piercings may suffer from infection, swelling, and bleeding of the lip, cheek, tongue or nearby tissues. It could further injure your mouth causing gum recession and tooth fracture. So think long and hard before deciding to get one. With all the trouble it can bring fort, make sure to be careful and discuss proper management of the oral jewelry with your dentist.

Not wearing a mouth guard when playing sports

A mouth guard is named that way for one reason: to protect your mouth from hard blows or impacts in the face. Whether you are a professional or an amateur athlete, you should always wear a mouthguard, most especially in sports like hockey or boxing where you could potentially be hit in the jaw. So invest in one and avoid a big round of dental bills in the future. You can find mouthguards being sold at sporting equipment stores but the best ones are the customized guards that your dentist can create for you.

Chewing ice cubes

Every time you chew on ice, you are practically hammering your teeth. Not only does it cause your tooth to break, crunching ice cubes can also compromise your fillings or crowns as well as destroy your tooth enamel.

Sucking on throat lozenges

When you get a sore throat a cough drop is probably one of the first things that would pop in your mind as a remedy. But it does not always work, at least not for your mouth. Most lozenges are loaded with sugar setting you up for tooth decay. Check the ingredient label and buy the one that’s low on sugar.

Bleaching your teeth despite irritation

Too much of everything can be harmful. So if you notice some gum irritation or feel that your teeth suddenly become a bit too sensitive when you drink cold beverages, take your teeth-whitening treatments down a notch. Better yet, seek your Scottsdale cosmetic dentist for advice to lower the risk of further complications.

Dental Emergencies: Are You Ready?

Accidents can’t be helped. Knowing what do to when it occurs, however, can. And it may mean the difference between loosing and preserving one’s tooth. Whether you are home or out on vacation, the following short-term fixes can help you manage a dental emergency if you can’t see a medical professional right away.

Knocked-Out Tooth

If you happen to slip and knock your tooth out, the best thing you can do at the moment is to keep the tooth moist until you get to your dentist. Do not touch the root of the tooth. Instead, pick it up by the crown. If possible, put it back in its socket, and then try to bite down. If you can’t, put it in a container with milk or saline solution. A knocked-out tooth needs urgent attention so waste no time and rush to your dentist immediately. If these are done appropriately, there’s a good chance that the tooth can be re-implanted in its socket by your dentist.

Unaligned or Loose Tooth

Call your dentist right away if you have a tooth that is unaligned or loose. You can also try placing it back to its original position, for the time being. But be very careful and only apply very light pressure. Bite down to keep your tooth from moving until you reach your dentist.

Chipped, Cracked or Fractured Teeth

A chipped tooth does not usually constitute a dental emergency. However, it is recommended that you see your dentist to prevent it from chipping more every time you eat.
For a cracked or fractured tooth, immediately rinse your mouth with warm water, and apply a cold compress then head on to your cosmetic dentist in Scottsdale as soon as possible. If the fracture’s too painful, you can take acetaminophen. Make sure you follow the instructions on the packaging.
A fractured tooth is a serious issue because it usually means that the inside of your tooth is also damaged. Your dentist may be able to determine your tooth’s condition through an x-ray. If the tooth pulp inside it is damaged, root canal may be need. Otherwise, it might only need a crown. In extreme cases, though, severe fractures lead to extraction. If your dentist believes your tooth cannot be saved, various options such as implant-supported restorations and bridges will be provided.

Tissue Injury and Facial Pain

Tissues injuries such as puncture wounds, lacerations or tears to the cheeks, lips, mouth or tongue are all considered a dental emergency. If you suffer from any type of tissue injury, follow these steps:

  • Clean the injured area with warm water.
  • If your tongue is the one bleeding, pull it forward and apply pressure on it using gauze.
  • To alleviate pain, take acetaminophen and follow its packaging directions.
  • Get to an oral surgeon or rush at a nearby hospital emergency immediately.

Avoid a Dental Emergency

Steer clear of dental mishaps by having regular dentist check-ups to guarantee that your mouth is healthy and free from unwanted dental problems.

About The Author

Dr. Koch

Dr. Robert Koch

Dr. Robert Koch earned a Masters degree in Biomedical Science and Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from Midwestern University. Dr. Koch’s patient-first approach to dentistry is rooted in education for both himself and his patients. Staying up to date with the latest advances in dentistry allows him to offer the best treatment plans for his patients. He aims to educate and inform patients in a comforting environment that allows patients to feel confident in the decision-making process of their treatment.