Patients of Tigard dentist Dr. Gregory Williams know to limit the amount of sugar they consume daily and to always floss and brush before heading off to bed. However, even if you think yourself deserving of an A+ in oral hygiene, chances are that you’re still making a few common mistakes with your oral health. Taking care of your oral health means more than just protecting your teeth and gums, as studies have found that the chronic inflammation caused by gum disease increases your risk factor for a variety of serious long-term health concerns that range from heart disease to stroke to even cancer.
To help you get a handle on the best practices for your oral health and which common mistakes to avoid, here are five ways you may be ruining your oral health.
Salad for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Now we’re not saying you shouldn’t make it a point to eat your greens, it’s just that there is too much of a good thing.
Salads are high in magnesium and calcium, which is great for the body as a whole, but also causes tartar to build up in the mouth. That tartar, a hardened mixture of plaque and bacteria, presents a serious risk to the integrity of your teeth and gums. The extra magnesium and calcium your body receives from eating salad also creates more plaque, which makes a convenient home for oral bacteria to thrive.
Brushing with Harsh Toothpaste
While toothpaste brands that promise to brighten your smile every time your brush may sound like a wonderful idea, it actually turns out that the harsh, abrasive agents found in those brands might do more harm than good.
Many of the brands of toothpaste that advertise as being able to remove coffee or red wine stains from the surface of your teeth can actually irritate gum tissue and wear down tooth enamel.
When gum tissue becomes swollen when irritated, which can lead to inflammation that can cause everything from gum disease to a receding gum line. Brushing with abrasive agents that strip down tooth enamel creates crack and crevices on the surface of your teeth that allow bacteria inside a tooth and causes decay.
So be careful which brand of toothpaste you select and feel free to ask Dr. Williams for a recommendation on which type of toothpaste is right for you.
The tooth staining properties of coffee are a known risk factor to the state of your smile, but coffee also presents a danger to your oral health you may not even realize.
It’s easy for dentists in Tigard like Dr. Williams to remove coffee stains from the surface of teeth, but it’s not as easy to repair the damage done to tooth enamel by coffee’s high acidity. Tooth enamel, the incredibly resilient substance that protects your teeth, is susceptible to harm from eating and drinking acidic foods. A diet high in these types of foods and drinks lead to a low pH concentration in saliva. In other words, long after you finishing eating, the acid in these types of foods continue to damage your teeth.
If most mornings you wake up with jaw pain or a headache, chances are you grind your teeth at night.
Bruxism, the clinical term for teeth grinding, affects millions of Americans, most of whom don’t even realize they suffer from the condition. Teeth grinding typically occurs at night while asleep, so unless your partner constantly wakes up to the sound of you gnashing, odds are you won’t even know you’re doing it.
Unfortunately, teeth grinding places excessive force on your teeth, which can cause enamel to crack. And we know what happens then.
If you suspect teeth grinding might be the cause your morning headaches, talk to Dr. Williams about what treatment options might be right for you.
While being passionate about your oral hygiene is certainly commendable, you can over do it unless careful. Overbrushing can occur if you apply too much pressure during your morning and evening oral hygiene routines. This again can cause tooth enamel to crack and gum tissue to become irritated.
One of the best ways to prevent overbrushing is by using an electric toothbrush, which are designed to apply the optimal pressure to your teeth.
Ask Your Tigard Dentist
If you have any other questions about potentially harmful habits that hurt your teeth, talk to Tigard dentist Dr. Greg Williams during your next appointment.