We all have bad habits. For some people, it’s snoozing their alarm in the morning, or going out for dinner more than their budget allows. Usually, we know what our bad habits are — and that we should probably be doing something about them. But did you know that some of your bad habits are doubly dangerous when it comes to your teeth? Here are three vices that could be impacting your oral health.
It’s no surprise to anyone these days to hear that smoking is bad for you. “Cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causes many diseases, and reduces the health of smokers in general,” reads the CDC’s fact sheet on tobacco. It’s common knowledge that smoking takes years off your life. In fact, smoking is reportedly the cause of nearly one in five deaths nationwide, across demographics.
But if that’s not enough, here’s one more point against tobacco use: It’s one of the worst things you can do for your teeth. Health-wise, smoking significantly increases your chances of developing gum disease, and can make you a poor candidate for procedures like dental implants. It can also contribute to tooth decay, gum recession, and even increases your risk of developing oral cancer.
Smoking isn’t a good look for your teeth, either: Not only does it heavily discolor teeth, over time it could take a bite out of your jaw bone density and lead to tooth loss. Not a pretty picture for your smile!
While drinking a bottle of red wine every night would certainly be a cause for concern, a single glass is often considered a healthy habit, particularly for the heart. Unfortunately, those same benefits don’t extend to your teeth. In fact, red wine in particular is a major culprit for the weakening of your enamel and the discoloration of your teeth.
That’s because red wine has two weapons: Acidity, and pigmentation. Acid damages your enamel (the hardest substance in your body), which is tasked with protecting the sensitive, inner parts of your teeth. Once that enamel is weakened, your teeth are more prone to cavities and discoloration. And speaking of discoloration, the pigments in red wine are particularly prone to staining — something that the acidity of the beverage has already made your teeth more susceptible to. And the worst part? Whitening treatments can actually make your teeth more likely to grab onto those red wine pigments.
Coffee is controversial: It’s packed with antioxidants, but it triggers a stress response in your body. It may reduce your risk of diabetes, but it’s addictive. There are a million different opinions on whether or not coffee is a healthy or unhealthy addition to your diet. But when it comes to your smile, there’s no debate: Coffee is bad. Coffee, like red wine, is acidic and darkly pigmented. A daily coffee habit can discolor your teeth even while it’s lending you energy.
If you were looking for a good reason to kick one of these habits, flash yourself a smile in the mirror and you’ll see 32 pearly-white reasons! Call (610) 200-6290 or contact us online to make an appointment with an experienced dentist right here in Blue Bell, PA.