The majority of us spend most of our time at work. Whether you love your job or you see it as just a paycheck, we all develop habits while on the job. What you may not realize is that some of your “work quirks” could actually be harming your teeth. Be sure to correct any of the habits below if they’ve become part of your routine!
Grinding & clenching
We all have different coping mechanisms for dealing with stress. If your job causes you to feel tense throughout the day you might catch yourself grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw. Bruxism is a condition in which you grind, gnash or clench your teeth either during the day or at night while you sleep.
It’s natural for the body to react to increased stress – however these tendencies can lead to long term dental health problems. In some cases, Bruxism can result in a fracturing, loosening, or loss of teeth. The chronic grinding may wear teeth down to stumps resulting in the need for crowns, root canals or implants.
Severe grinding can also affect your jaws, causing a condition known as Temporomandibular Joint disorder or TMJ. Symptoms of TMJ include pain in the jaw, difficulty chewing, headaches and sometimes a change to the appearance of your face. If you feel you need some kind of coping mechanism when you’re feeling tense at work, try squeezing a stress ball instead of clenching your jaw!
Using your teeth as scissors
When you’re moving quickly throughout the day sometimes you might occasionally use your teeth as a tool, Don’t! Tearing off a piece of tape or holding a pen or pencil in your mouth may seem like no big deal, but you can actually chip away at the enamel of your teeth and risk breaking them. Take the extra time to find a pair of scissors, risking the health of your teeth is not worth it!
For many of us, the daily caffeine fix is a vice we just simply cannot live without. Coffee, however, is notorious for staining your pearly whites. We’re not going to ask you to break the habit, just be smart about how you consume that cup of joe. Try to maintain teeth whiteness by drinking your coffee through a straw and be sure to drink water after you finish that latte.
Smoking is a habit with a laundry list of serious health implications. When it comes to dental health, smoking causes people to have more dental plaque and increases the risk of gum disease. Smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, so gums that become infected aren’t able to heal. And, gum disease is the most common cause of tooth loss in adults. Smoking also can cause bad breath and yellow teeth.