Tooth Damage: What May be Behind the Unexpected Injury
- Posted on: Sep 30 2017
One of the primary objectives in the field of dentistry is protecting patients from oral disease. Whether that is inflammation and infection of the gums or tooth decay, we place the high priority on prevention. In addition to direct care in the form of exams, cleanings, and minor repairs, we also support long-term health and wellness with information and demonstration.
We’ve all heard that saying, prevention is the best medicine, time and time again. The funny thing is, we’ve heard it enough to write it off; to forget the value of daily oral care habits. When tooth damage occurs, there may be a huge feeling of surprise. Here, we’ll discuss a few of the origins of those unexpected tooth injuries.
The most common reason for unforeseen chips, fractures, and other damage is bacteria. The mouth is filled with these tiny organisms that we cannot see. They are not to be eradicated. In fact, there is a purpose for oral bacteria. The problem is that our daily habits make it far too easy for aggressive, acid-producing microorganisms to thrive. These microbes don’t require much; they live off of the residue that lingers after meals and beverages. This is why cavities are associated with sugar. It’s an acid problem. It’s also a controllable factor in the oral decline. Brushing and flossing enable us to manage bacteria on a daily basis and thus minimize the risk of injuries to enamel and gums.
We don’t often make the connection between stress and our oral health, but it is there. First, stress can cause us to reach for unhealthy “comfort foods” that increase the risk of tooth decay. Another way that stress can adversely affect oral health is by provoking bruxism. This condition is more of a habit; one that involves clenching the jaw with enormous force. Bruxism exerts enough pressure on teeth and underlying structures that this condition can cause chips in natural teeth as well as restorations. Gum recession has also been linked to bruxism. In addition to learning stress-reducing techniques such as deep breathing, patients who clench and grind may protect their teeth with a custom-fit night guard.
Posted in: Dental Health