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Restorative Dentistry for Common Bad Dental Habits

Danny O'Keefe D.D.S. Jul 25, 2015

Close-up on woman pointing to her smileIf you brush and floss every day, you may assume that you maintain good dental habits. However, there are a number of things you may be doing on an almost daily basis that can be extremely detrimental to your oral wellness. Certain bad habits can weaken your teeth and increase your risk for decay. Other behaviors can raise your risk for temporomandibular (TMJ) disorder. Dr. O’Keefe will evaluate your oral health at each appointment, and he can provide tips to help you break bad habits. If these tendencies have already caused dental damage, he also offers advanced restorative dentistry to renew your oral health. To learn more about common bad dental habits, contact our Jackson practice today.

Bad Habits That Can Damage Your Teeth

Some habits are obviously detrimental to your health, but other bad practices may come as a surprise. Common poor dental habits include:

  • Biting your nails:  Your teeth are not designed to bite down on hard objects. Biting your nails can cause your teeth to crack.
  • Smoking: Along with raising your risk for lung cancer, smoking can lead to oral cancer and gum disease.
  • Brushing too hard: Using too much force or using a hard-bristled brush can erode your dental enamel.
  • Eating and drinking the wrong things: Sugar and starches are notorious culprits in the development of cavities. Additionally, highly acidic foods and drinks will cause enamel erosion.

Restorative Dentistry to Combat These Habits

If your teeth have already been damaged, Dr. O’Keefe offers an array of restorative treatments. Dental crowns are one of the most common options. Dr. O’Keefe will place these tooth-shaped restorations directly over damaged teeth. Thanks to our advanced CEREC® system, we can often supply lifelike crowns in a single day. Crowns can be a good way to restore broken or cracked teeth.

We also offer tooth-colored fillings. If dental erosion or poor dietary choices have caused decay, these lifelike restorations can halt bacteria and strengthen your tooth. Resin fillings will adhere to your tooth more firmly than metal restorations. They also require less preparation.

Bad Habits That Can Harm Your Jaw

Along with bad habits that can harm your teeth, you may also engage in behavior that can harm your temporomandibular joints. Bad habits can include:

  • Grinding your teeth: Stress is a major cause of teeth grinding, or bruxism. Like many people, you may not even be aware that you are grinding. During times of stress, monitor your jaw movements and make an effort to release your facial muscles.
  • Maintaining bad posture: Poor posture will compress your spine, which can cause inflammation around your jaw joints.

Advanced Treatments to Promote Jaw Health

If you have already developed TMJ disorder, you should break these bad habits. At the same time, you will likely need additional treatment to reduce inflammation and discomfort. Dr. O’Keefe will create a unique treatment plan using the T-scan system to measure the force of your bite. Oral appliances are the most common TMJ treatment. These devices will realign your jaw, usually while you sleep, reducing pressure on your joints.  We offer several types of appliances, and Dr. O’Keefe will carefully select the right one for you.

Schedule an Appointment

Learn more about how to protect your health or schedule an appointment to correct existing damage. Contact us today for the care you need.

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