ON THE MOHS HARDNESS SCALE, TOOTH ENAMEL RANKS BETWEEN STEEL AND TITANIUM. It is thus more durable than any other substance in the body, as well as more durable than iron. It’s still quite fragile and prone to acid erosion, and there are many daily behaviors we might have that could endanger it.
1. Biting Your Nails
The impacts on teeth and general oral health can be just as bad, if not more so, than the effects on ragged, damaged fingernails, which are typically the first thing most people think of when asked about the negative repercussions of a nail-biting habit. Even though fingernails are formed of keratin, which is harder than tooth enamel, the conflict will ultimately be won by keratin over enamel over time.
Habitual nail-biting can erode, crack, and chip teeth. It can shift them out of proper alignment, resulting in gaps and bad bites. It could even lead to root resorption, or the breakdown of the roots of the teeth! The risk of resorption is also higher in someone with braces. At the same time, the fingernails are the dirtiest part of the hands, and all the dirt and germs under there transfers to the mouth in a nail-biting session. This can lead to gum disease.
2. Mouth Breathing
The term “Mouth-Breather” has gained popularity recently because to the hit television series Stranger Things, but there are several reasons to refrain from doing so on a regular basis. Mouth breathing can result in a number of issues, both immediately and over time:
Lower oxygen levels: nose breathing triggers the production of nitric oxide, a molecule that helps our lungs absorb oxygen. Mouth breathing skips that step, so we can’t get as much out of each breath! That results in less energy for mental and physical tasks.
Dry mouth: Because saliva is the body’s first line of defense against oral bacteria, the continual airflow in the mouth severely dries it out. Chronic foul breath and tooth decay are caused by dry mouth.
Sleep apnea: with habitual mouth breathing comes the increased likelihood of sleep apnea, which makes it difficult to get restful sleep and over time increases the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure.
Altered bone growth: The tongue exerts just the appropriate amount of pressure when the mouth is closed to promote healthy development of a child’s dental arches and facial bones. Mouth breathing destroys the supporting framework, resulting in small chins, narrow arches, flat features, and drooping eyes.
Worse orthodontic problems: narrow dental arches are very likely to feature a lot of crowding. In order to make room for the full set of teeth, orthodontic treatment will usually be necessary.
Let’s Break Those Habits!
We can assist you if you yourself struggle with mouth breathing, nail-biting, or both, or if you’ve discovered that your child does. Don’t hesitate to call your favorite Colorado Springs dentist. We want you to have all the knowledge you want on how these habits affect oral health, as well as all the tools necessary to combat them.