Bad Habits That Can Damage Your Oral Health And Smile

Your habits can have a significant impact on your oral health. While some healthy habits, such as brushing and flossing, help protect your teeth, other habits can increase your risk for dental issues. Here are some bad habits that can damage our oral health.

  • Smoking

Cigarettes and other forms of tobacco are one of the worst things you can put in your mouth. In addition to increasing your risk of developing cancer, gum disease slows the healing process of tissue inside the mouth and can cause tooth loss. The chemicals in cigarettes can also weaken your immune system, making smokers more susceptible to oral disease and infection. Smokers also suffer from bad breath and yellowed teeth, which are caused by tar buildup from cigarette smoke.

If you smoke or chew tobacco products, it’s time to quit for the sake of your oral health! Your dentist can help you kick the habit for good with recommendations for nicotine replacements like gum or patches to help you beat the addiction.

  • Brushing Teeth Aggressively

If you brush your teeth too hard or too often, you can damage your gums and tooth enamel. Incorrect brushing techniques can also contribute to receding gums.

First, it’s important to use a toothbrush with a soft-bristled head. Hard bristles can erode the protective layer of your teeth and irritate your gum tissue. It’s also recommended to brush for at least two minutes each time – this amount of time allows enough time for plaque buildup to break down and be rinsed away thoroughly. If you don’t brush long enough, you could miss plaque in places you can’t see, such as between your teeth and along the gum line.

Also, be sure you’re not brushing too forcefully. If your teeth are sensitive, it’s best to use a soft-bristled brush and a gentle hand when cleaning them. You can also apply any toothpaste made for sensitive teeth and check with your doctor or a periodontist for other options. If you think you’re brushing too hard, slow down and consider using a gentler technique.

  • Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding or clenching occurs when a person grinds or clenches their teeth, typically while sleeping. This can also be done during stressful situations as well. The pressure from the grinding and clenching of your teeth puts pressure on the muscles of the jaw, which can eventually result in pain in the jaw joint or the muscles themselves. If left untreated, this can lead to temporomandibular disorders (TMD).

Symptoms include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Aching in the face
  • Headaches
  • Worn-down tooth enamel
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • An uncomfortable bite

If you notice any of these symptoms, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible and discuss treatment options such as a night guard. The night guard is a custom-made mouthpiece that you place over your teeth while you sleep. It prevents them from touching, which alleviates the pain caused by grinding and clenching. Permanently damaged teeth can result if grinding and clenching are left untreated.

  • Eating Sugary Foods

Most people know the damage that eating too many sugary foods and beverages can do to their bodies. What many don’t realize is that too much sugar can harm their oral health as well. Bacteria in the mouth use sugar and turn it into acid, which wears away at tooth enamel and causes tooth decay and cavities. Cutting back on sweets can help protect your oral health and keep your smile bright! 

  • Not Visiting the Dentist Regularly

Many patients avoid dentists due to cost concerns, fear or anxiety about the dentist, or lack of dental insurance. However, missing these regular appointments can seriously harm your oral health. Plaque and calculus can build up on your teeth, which may lead to tooth decay and cavities in the future. If gum disease goes untreated, you can face serious oral health issues, including jawbone deterioration and tooth loss. Your dentist can identify these concerns early on during a routine exam and recommend a treatment plan to fit your unique needs.

At Arizona Dental, we ensure to provide each of our patients with a positive and relaxing experience. If you're ready to experience the best dental care, please contact us from your nearest location. We will be happy to guide you further.


3010 E Cactus Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85032

Phone: (602) 788-4040


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10001 West Bell Rd suite 123, Sun City, AZ 85351

Phone: (623) 933-1111


  • MON:8:00 am-5:00 pm
  • TUE:Closed
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  • THU - SUN:Closed
Contact Us