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The Biggest Threats to Dental Health

While brushing, flossing and visiting your Orlando dentist are very important to dental health, there are a number of lifestyle factors that could put your oral health in jeopardy. The food you eat, your weight, and your habits can all have an impact on the health of your teeth and gums. Understanding what lifestyle factors may affect your oral health can help you to take steps to mitigate those factors and keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible.

Smoking and Using Tobacco

Smoking has shown to be one of the factors that contributes to periodontal disease the most. Studies show that smokers generally have more calculus on their teeth than non-smokers. This calculus can irritate the gums, causing pockets to form between the teeth and gums. Bacteria can grow in those pockets and deteriorate the gums and surrounding bone and tissues. Without treatment, this condition may lead to tooth loss but treatments may also not be as effective for smokers.

Poor Diet and Obesity

Eating sugary foods immediate effects the teeth and can have a destructive impact over time. Every time sugar is consumed, the mouth produces acid to break down the sugar, which can erode the teeth. Failure to eat enough nutritious foods can also cause the mouth to lack healing agents that counter infections. Additionally, poor diet can contribute to obesity, which may increase the risk of developing periodontal disease and many other health conditions.

Chewing and Nail Biting

A study published in the journal General Dentistry revealed that people that bite their nails, clench their teeth, and chew on pencils or other objects are at greater risk for bruxism. This condition occurs when the tips of the teeth are worn down and the enamel is worn off. Sensitivity and jaw popping may also be present. Additionally, chewing behaviors may damage the gums and put patients at greater risk for oral infections.

Oral Piercings

Many people do not consider the possible detrimental effects of oral piercings on the teeth and gums before moving forward with the fashion. Piercings to the cheeks, lips, and tongue may fracture teeth, crowns, and caps if the piercing is accidentally bitten. Oral piercings also put individuals at higher risk for infections and endocarditis, a condition in which the heart valves and tissues become inflamed. Piercings can change the saliva flow, which can interfere with oral health, as well.

Ask your dentist for more information about lifestyle factors that may affect your dental health to take care of your teeth and gums as well as possible.

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