Family and Cosmetic Dentist - Livonia
31574 Schoolcraft Road
Livonia, MI 48150
We all have oral behavioral patterns, from eating habits to nervous actions that we need to be aware of in order to give our mouth the best chance at long-term health.
People often unconsciously engage in habits that can, over the years, result in harm to their teeth and gums. Starting as children, thumb sucking is a common habit that can result in long-term dental repercussions. The pressure of the thumb on the teeth and roof of the mouth may force a child's teeth out of position and affect the shape of the jaw. Beyond age 6, problems ranging from protruding teeth to speech defects may form due to changes in tooth and bone structure.
Teenagers and young adults may suffer from eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa - secret binge eating followed by self-induced vomiting - which can severely erode tooth enamel. Anorexia nervosa is another eating disorder where people simply eat as little as possible in their quest to become as thin as possible, and in the process deprive themselves of the vitamins and nutrients they need for good oral and overall health.
People who snack constantly throughout the day are at the other spectrum of the scale, as their increased risk of tooth decay comes from the constant supply of food that feeds the plaque that forms on teeth, producing acids that then attack tooth enamel and contribute to tooth decay.
Some people find themselves reacting to daily stresses by grinding their teeth at night. Chronic grinding can lead to a multitude of tooth, gum, and jaw problems, often causing headaches as well. Once we identify that you do grind your teeth, we can provide you with a custom-made night guard that will limit the potential for permanent damage.
Tobacco use is, of course, a whole other topic, as smokers are not only at an increased risk for oral cancer, but also for periodontal disease - confirmed by research that shows that smokers are much more likely to lose their teeth than non-smokers. Tobacco users are also prone to:
And sometimes we need to be reminded that our teeth were made for chewing food - not for opening things or use as all-around backup tools! Take an extra few minutes to hunt for a pair of scissors or whatever tool you need before substituting your teeth for the job. Biting into and chewing on ice is another common practice that puts a tremendous amount of bite stress on the teeth. Biting into ice cubes can lead to tooth pain, cracking, fractures and in some cases even broken teeth.
Being aware of your bad dental habits is the first step to a healthy dental future. Please feel free to talk to us about how we may be able to help you solve your particular unhealthy dental habit.