Dr. Jeff Haddad of Rochester Advanced Dentistry looks at the culprits and provides solutions
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Rochester, Mich.—July 19, 2022—Dr. Jeff Haddad, owner of Rochester Advanced Dentistry in downtown Rochester, which provides full-service dentistry, including cosmetic, implant and restorative dentistry as well as treatment for temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) and sleep apnea, is used to receiving questions about oral health practices that are not good for you. The answers sometimes surprise his patients, though.
- Clenching or Grinding: This can cause chipping or cracking of the teeth, as well as muscle tenderness or joint pain. It can also cause musculature tension in the jaws, limiting a person’s range of motion or cause chewing pain. This habit can also lead to a TMJ disorder, causing jaw pain, headaches, migraines, and even ear symptoms like tinnitus (ringing) or vertigo.
“A nighttime mouthguard or daytime appliance can help tremendously in these cases, resulting in less tooth damage, less pain and muscle soreness, and better sleep,” Haddad said.
- Constant snacking: Grazing all day, especially on sugary foods and drinks, puts you at a higher risk for cavities. When you eat, cavity-causing bacteria feast on leftover food, producing an acid that attacks the outer shell of your teeth. I recommend well balanced meals to feel fuller, longer. If you need a snack, make sure it’s low in fat and sugar.
“If you indulge in the occasional sugary treat, follow it with a big glass of water to wash away leftover food – or brush your teeth if possible,” Haddad said.
- Snoring or Sleep Apnea: People who snore or have sleep apnea (where breathing stops several times an hour throughout the night), do most of their breathing through their mouth. Mouth breathing can have a severe effect on the health of the gums and teeth. Saliva is very protective and can help combat decay and gum disease. In addition, people who suffer from sleep apnea are typically also severe grinders and clenchers which can significantly wear teeth down and cause fractures.
“Having a custom sleep appliance made by a qualified sleep dentist can not only manage snoring or sleep apnea, but also protect a patient’s dentition,” Haddad said.
- Drinking soda or juices: Even with regular brushing and flossing, both regular and diet sodas can break down the enamel of teeth. Tiny bacteria live between and around teeth and, when exposed to the sugar in soft drinks, produce an acid that causes damage to tooth enamel, which eventually leads to decay and cavities.
“Even juices like apple and orange juice, which sound healthy, are high in sugar. Rinsing with water after drinking or using a fluoride rinse will help to neutralize the acidity and keep your teeth healthy,” Haddad said.
- Nail biting: This nervous habit can chip teeth and impact your jaw. Even though your enamel is the strongest substance in your body, it will start to thin and wear down as you age. Biting on your nails, can put just enough pressure on the edges of your front teeth chip or fracture the edges. In addition, placing your jaw for long periods of time in a protruding position can place pressure on it, which can lead to jaw discomfort or a TMJ disorder.
“Seek out alternatives to nail biting that also address the reasons behind this nervous habit. It’s not easy, but I’ve seen it conquered many times,” Haddad said.
About Rochester Advanced Dentistry
Founded in 1990 and led by dental innovator Jeffrey Haddad, DDS, Rochester Advanced Dentistry delivers the latest advances in dentistry to their patients. The practice, one of the largest private practices in Oakland County, also includes dentists Kurt Doolin, Nina Daws, and Matthew Wolfe. The full-service practice specializes in complex restorative and cosmetic dentistry and treatment of TMJ disorders and sleep apnea, in addition to other advanced dentistry services. To learn more, visit the Rochester Advanced Dentistry website.