You probably know all about the connection between poor dental hygiene and the development of tooth decay. However, there are other things that increase your likelihood of suffering from tooth decay or damaging your teeth, and some of these risk factors are very surprising. Here are six significant causes of tooth damage and tooth decay.
A leading cause of tooth decay, smoking is also bad for your oral health in a huge number of other ways. For example, in addition to being a risk factor for tooth decay, smoking increases your chances of suffering from oral cancer, developing gum disease and having stained teeth.
Although your teeth are probably the last thing on your mind when you are playing an exciting game of football, you need to take measures to protect them from damage. Specifically, you should get a mouth guard (which are commonly sold in sports stores).
Biting your fingernails
Chewing your fingernails is a common anxious habit, but it transfers bacteria to your gums (promoting tooth decay and increasing your chances of developing a dental infection). Try to find a substitute for chewing your nails, such as squeezing a stress ball.
Chronically grinding your teeth during the night can increase your chances of developing tooth decay, as well as causing cracked teeth, jaw pain, and sensitivity. If you think you suffer from bruxism, talk to your dentist about a night guard that will reduce the damage to your teeth.
If you don’t have enough saliva in your mouth, it is easier for a buildup of bacteria to form and cause tooth decay. Sometimes the cause of a dry mouth is unknown, but you may suffer from this problem if you use certain medications (such as treatments for allergies and some mental health problems). Your dentist may provide artificial saliva to improve your situation.
Wine contains acid that promotes tooth decay, and red wine will also change the color of your teeth (turning them grey). Ideally, you should try to brush your teeth fairly soon after drinking any wine.