Top Ways People Ruin Their Teeth

Instead of calling this “Top Ways People Ruin Their Teeth” I should have called it “How people who brush and floss and visit the dentist, still ruin their teeth”. Even when we take really good care of our oral health, things can still happen that can mess up your smile!

For example, accidents happen and teeth get damaged. It can be a slip and fall, a sports injury or just biting into an popcorn kernel at the movie theater — they can all lead to broken or chipped teeth. Teeth that have had fillings or root canals are at higher risk for breakage simply because they aren’t as strong as a perfectly intact tooth. Fortunately, most chips and breaks are able to be repaired and your tooth will look as good as new.

You can try to avoid accidental damage to your teeth by following a few simple rules: wear a mouth guard if you play sports and never, ever chew ice or bite into hard candies. Ice is especially bad for teeth because the combination of cold and the crystalline structure of ice is seriously damaging to teeth.

Teeth also become damaged because of grinding. Grinding, or bruxism, is the unconscious grinding or clenching of teeth. Over time grinding your teeth can damage the chewing surfaces and can even wear the teeth down. The grinding can also lead to cracks in the enamel which makes the teeth more likely to decay.

Bruxism also causes headaches, facial pain, neck and shoulder pain and jaw joint damage. A dentist with training in treating the jaw joint (temporomandibular joint) can create a custom orthotic that is worn to prevent the teeth from damage and to keep the jaw joint and surrounding muscles healthy.

Many people who suffer from bruxism don’t know they are grinding. This is because many people only grind their teeth during sleep. Unless a bed partner complains about the noise or the wear on the teeth becomes noticible to your dentist, you probably won’t realize what is causing all those morning headaches!

Find out more about protecting your teeth from ruin by contacting Asheville neuromuscular dentist Dr. John Highsmith at 828-627-9282.

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