It's easy to fall into the habit of doing something without thinking about it while you're nervous, whether it's clearing your throat or tapping your foot. These habits may not have any real consequences, but other nervous habits could pose a threat to your dental health. In fact, if you've had these habits for a while, your dentist may notice signs of them during your next checkup and may ask you about them. It's worthwhile to be conscious of what you do while you're nervous, and if your habits seem detrimental to your dental health, it's time to change them. Here are some nervous habits that fall into this category.
Biting Your Nails
Many people bite their nails when they're nervous. Some people do so consciously, perhaps to the point that their nails are worn down significantly, while others may do so without hardly thinking of it. Biting your nails can be troublesome for your oral health because the constant pressure of your fingers against your teeth may harm their alignment. Additionally, it's possible to chip the corners of your front teeth due to this pressure. Finally, you might also irritate your gums as a result of the pressure from your fingers and nails.
On the surface, chewing gum might not seem like a bad habit, but excessive chewing may be a problem. Keeping gum in your mouth for prolonged periods of time exposes your teeth to sugars, which can heighten your eventual risk of developing cavities and experiencing other oral issues. Your risk of gum disease can also increase when you chew sugary gum repeatedly. Additionally, if you're constantly chewing gum, you're probably not sipping water while you chew. Sipping water is an effective way to rinse excess bacteria out of your mouth.
Grinding Your Teeth
Tooth grinding is a common way that many people deal with feelings of nervousness. Over time, grinding your teeth can threaten your dental health. The constant movement and pressure can wear away the enamel on your molars and any other teeth that may be affected by your grinding habit. This, in turn, can increase the risk of these teeth getting cavities. As the enamel is worn away, your teeth may also begin to feel more sensitive — for example, you might experience sharp feelings of discomfort when you consume hot beverages or cold foods. By being aware of these nervous habits and attempting to curb them, your dentist won't be as concerned during your next checkup.
To learn more, contact a family dentist like All About Smiles .