In the quest for whiter teeth, we’ve all heard about the negative effects of coffee, tea and red wine on your teeth. Stains are, however, easily removed with professional whitening procedures performed by dentists. Damage to tooth structure is much more serious with dentists warning patients against habits such as nail biting, chewing on ice and using your teeth as a tool.
Almost everyone has an idea about what’s good and what’s bad for our oral health. But, there are other more harmful things that may still come as a surprise to many of us.
Mouth Breathing and Diet Changing your Saliva
Most people breathe through their mouth (mouth breathing) while engaging in sports, this is normal. The problem arises when you mouth breath habitually for example when you are sitting on the couch watching TV. Doing so can leave your mouth extremely dry. Since your saliva is responsible for washing away debris and neutralising acids from food and bacteria, the lack of saliva from mouth breathing will thus increase your risk for cavities. Couple this with the regular consumption of a sports drinks (like Gatorade or Powerade) or soft drinks and you end up with a super concentrate of sugar, acid and bacteria on the tooth surface and gums causing redness and inflammation of the soft tissue and decay or discolouration of the tooth.
In addition to the lack of saliva from mouth breathing, dehydration (from drinking heavily caffeinated drinks such as coffee) can cause the natural composition and consistency of the saliva to change. It becomes sticky and mucous-like instead of fluid and hydrating which then traps sugars/acids instead of rinsing them away. A simple solution is to bring a bottle of water with you at all times, and drink tap water regularly throughout the day. Work on breathing through your nose with your lips closed and if you can’t do so it might be worth some further investigation or assessment with Dr Harley or your GP.
Frequent throwing up is a symptom for those who suffer from gastric problems, hyperacidity and other digestive irregularities. Included in this is women who experience morning sickness during their pregnancy or even those that experience nausea after a long car ride. Whatever the cause, vomiting can be dangerous to your teeth.
During the process of vomiting, the acid from your stomach comes into contact with your tooth enamel. This causes the surfaces of your teeth to soften and erode. Once the moment has passed, a common thing to want to do is brush your teeth to remove the horrible flavour. This, in fact, is the worst thing that you can do as the softened enamel will be brushed away even further. As a general rule, after vomiting, you can rinse your mouth with water but it is best to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing to allow your saliva to re-harden the enamel surface.
Visit a Professional
If you have any of these problems it is important that you consult a dentist before irreparable damage is done. All of our clinicians at Pennant Hills Dental Centre are well versed in all of these issues and treatments that can prevent further damage or repair damage caused. Our advice is backed by evidence collected over years of research, ensuring you get the best quality care. Book Online, Email or Call us today to reserve a consultation appointment.