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Nail Biting Can Ruin Your Teeth

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Are you a nervous nail biter? Don't worry, you're not alone. While it's more common amongst children and adolescents, studies have found that anywhere from nearly a third to almost half of the population bite their nails.

Nowadays, nail-biting - also known as onychophagia - is considered a chronic or compulsive habit. Scientists have found a wide variety of reasons drive people to engage in the act, some of which include stress relief, perfectionism, and even a genetic predisposition to repetitive behaviors.

How Nail Biting Affects Your Health

Whatever the reason may be, you should know that nail-biting can be harmful to your health for three key reasons:

1.      Abnormal Nails. Damaging your nails can cause them to grow abnormally.

2.      Germs & Illnesses. The bacteria hiding in your damaged nails and skin can make you ill.

3.      Damaged Teeth. Nail-biting is harmful to your oral health and can damage your teeth.

To further explain the third reason, here are some of the ways that nail-biting can affect your teeth:

·        Structural Damage. Nail-biting can cause your teeth to chip, crack, and erode the enamel.

·        Malocclusions. Constant nail-biting can result in your teeth shifting place, resulting in a misaligned bite (malocclusion) or gaps between your teeth.

·        Root Resorption. The frequent movement of teeth caused by nail-biting can result in root resorption - having the roots of your teeth reabsorbed into your body. Your weakened teeth are then at a much higher risk of falling out.

·        Gingivitis. Gum disease can result from the dirt and germs hiding in your broken nails and the damaged skin around the nailbed.

·        Bruxism. Nail-biting has also been linked to bruxism, the act of grinding or clenching your teeth, which can lead to headaches and jaw pain.

Breaking the Habit

Now that you know how harmful nail-biting can be, there are several strategies you can employ to break the habit. For example:

·        Trim and groom your nails frequently so that you have nothing to bite.

·        Getting a manicure can make you less inclined to ruin your nails.  

·        Use a special nail polish with an unpleasant taste to discourage the behavior.

·        Track what triggers you to engage in the act and become more mindful of when it happens to break the cycle.

·        Replace the habit with something less harmful, such as using a stress ball to curb the urge to fidget or chew gum to keep your mouth busy.

·        Cover your nails with gloves or a Band-Aid to discourage biting. 

·        Consider wearing a retainer to impede your ability to bite.

If these methods fail to yield results, try reaching out to your doctor or dentist to discuss any additional treatment options available. Together we can solve the problem and keep your mouth healthy. 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

© Aalam Samsavar DDS and www.drsamsavar.com, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Clean Tongue, Stay Young

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Did your parents ever threaten to wash your tongue with soap? While it won't cleanse your language, a regular tongue cleaning can help with your overall oral hygiene - just don't use soap!

Most people think they only need to worry about brushing and flossing, but properly caring for your tongue plays a vital role in controlling the bacteria causing bad breath and tooth decay. It can also help with your digestive health since your tongue is involved in the first stage of the digestive process.

What's on Your Tongue?

Your tongue is home to more bacteria than most places in your body, so daily cleaning is an excellent idea. It's primarily made of muscles, glands, and fat, all of which is wrapped up in a mucous membrane. The top of your tongue is called the dorsum, and it contains tiny papillae - nodes that hold your taste buds.

Those papillae structures also mean that your tongue isn't a flat surface. Instead, there are numerous cracks and crevices between the nodes, providing the perfect place for bacteria to hide and flourish. Those hiding spaces also make it difficult for mouthwashes and rinsing to effectively clean your tongue, which is why special tools are needed to really clean it well.

Tongue cleaning is actually a long-standing and ancient practice in some cultures in Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America. For instance, Ayurveda, the traditional medicine of India, includes tongue-scraping as part of its daily recommended hygiene practices.

Throughout history, in different parts of the world, various tools for cleaning the tongue have been created from materials like metals, ivory, whalebone, and more. Today, those tools are most often made from plastic or stainless steel, and they can be found at your local store in the same aisle as other dental care products.

How to Clean Your Tongue

The best time to clean your tongue is after brushing your teeth but before you rinse out the toothpaste. The best method is to use a tongue scraper. Just stick out your tongue, place the rounded end of the tool as near to the back of your tongue as you can bear, and then slowly pull it forward. Rinse the tool and repeat as needed to clean the entire surface of your tongue. Make sure to use less pressure next time if your tongue feels sore afterwards.

Tongue cleaning is best practiced at least once daily, alongside regularly brushing and flossing. If you have any questions, we are always your best source of information and can provide you with guidance on the kind of tools and techniques that will work best for you.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

© Aalam Samsavar DDS and www.drsamsavar.com, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

The Truth About Charcoal

The Truth About Charcoal

If you've used charcoal powder to whiten your teeth, then you know that it's messy stuff. It stains your toothbrush black and your mouth will look truly horrifying until you rinse it out.

Activated charcoal is currently being touted as the latest must-have health and beauty fad, especially when it comes to tooth whitening. But is there any truth to its much-hyped abilities or is this just another gimmick to sell you snake oil?

Defeating Halitosis/ Bad-breath.

Defeating Halitosis/ Bad-breath.

 

IF YOU SUFFER FROM BAD BREATH, YOU'RE NOT ALONE. You may even have developed a few strategies to help manage it. For instance, you might carry a pack of gum to refresh your breath, or maybe you surreptitiously pop a breath mint in the middle of a conversation to offer one to a colleague without causing embarrassment.  

 No one likes bad breath, but everyone suffers from it after eating certain foods known for their pungent aromas. For others, however, the condition might be more chronic. The best way to deal with the problem is to address the root cause - so what causes bad breath?

Bruxing The Teeth. It Is Not Always About The Stress.

Bruxing The Teeth. It Is Not Always About The Stress.

It was about a month ago that Jerry came in for consultation. He was not happy about the way his teeth looked and wanted his smile to look more attractive for his daughter’s Wedding. Jerry was in his late 50’s. He had a history of high blood pressure. He occasionally took sleeping meds as he suffered from insomnia. “I am irritable and tired sometimes Dr. Samsavar. Life is stressful and I grind my teeth. That is why my other dentist made me a nightguard.” Jerry said.  

Making Halloween Healthy For Your Teeth

Making Halloween Healthy For Your Teeth

HALLOWEEN IS ONE OF the most highly anticipated holidays of the year, and it’s almost here! This holiday sees kids, teens, and even adults consuming far more sugar than they would any other time, coming in second only to Easter. The problem with this is that sugar is the favorite food of the harmful bacteria living in our mouths, which means eating all these treats is very bad for our oral health.

Negative Effects of Mouth Breathing

Negative Effects of Mouth Breathing

WE ALL KNOW: Breathing provides our body with the oxygen it needs to survive. We also know what it’s like to have a cold, with a nose so stuffy that you can’t breathe through it. Breathing through the mouth only becomes necessary when we have nasal congestion due to allergies or a cold. When we are exercising strenuously, mouth breathing can help get oxygen to our muscles faster. But, there are many negative effects of mouth-breathing full-time, particularly if the habit begins in childhood.

4 Animals With Unusual Teeth

4 Animals With Unusual Teeth

ANIMALS MIGHT NOT BE as concerned with maintaining their oral health and hygiene as we are, but that doesn’t stop some of them from having very interesting teeth! Like our teeth are adapted to an omnivorous diet, animal teeth are adapted to the foods they eat. In some cases, the results can get pretty strange. Today, we’re going to focus on four of the weirdest sets of chompers we could find.

Our 2018 Smile For Life Campaign is Back!

Our 2018 Smile For Life Campaign is Back!

MARCH THRU JUNE our practice is raising donations for children’s charities through the Smiles For Life program. We’re honored and excited to participate in such a worthy cause! 100 percent of the donations we raise go to the Smiles For Life Foundation to benefit children in need, with 50 percent benefiting a local charity of our choice—helping kids in OUR community.

Why Choose An ADSA Dentist?

Why Choose An ADSA Dentist?

YOUR SMILE IS AN expression of who you are. It’s how you greet a friend, celebrate life’s joyful moments, and make someone’s day a little brighter. We know how important your smile is to you and those around you. That’s why Dr. Samsavar is a member of the American Society for Dental Aesthetics (ASDA) as well as other prestigious dental societies. This is so we can always provide our patients with the best and most up-to-date dental care!

Soda Versus Our Teeth

Soda Versus Our Teeth

HAVE YOU EVER HEARD of “Mountain Dew Mouth”? It’s what happens to our teeth when we drink too much soda. The term comes from rural Appalachia, where that particular drink has long been the carbonated beverage of choice and tooth decay is alarmingly common. But this doesn’t just happen in Appalachia, and Mountain Dew isn’t the only drink that contributes to tooth decay.

Your Child's First Loose Tooth

Your Child's First Loose Tooth

WE ALL REMEMBER what it was like to be children with loose teeth. For some, this was a pretty stressful time, while others found ways to speed up the process so they could get those Tooth Fairy payouts faster.

No matter what, though, the prospect of losing that first tooth is new territory for every child, and it can seem very strange and frightening to them. That’s why we’re here to help you calm your child’s nerves as they approach this milestone.

Chocolate And Your Teeth

Chocolate And Your Teeth

UNDER MOST CIRCUMSTANCES, dentists are not fans of candy. The sugar in candy is the favorite food of bacteria that cause tooth decay. However, when it comes to chocolate, certain types may actually be good for oral health!

To be clear, this is not a blog post in which we give you a free pass to eat all the chocolate you want. Only certain types of chocolate have any health benefits, and too much of even the healthiest kinds probably isn’t a good thing.