Are Repetitive Motions Affecting Your Oral Health?
Maintaining good oral health requires various deliberate efforts and practices. Creating a routine is best in preventing oral problems such as gum disease and the development of cavities.
However, everybody has both deliberate and unconscious actions that impact teeth. For example, repetitive motions such as chewing gum or grinding teeth both have effects on oral health.
In the case of gum chewing, clinical studies show that this is greatly helpful especially if the gum is ADA-approved. Chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes or so after eating has been proven to be effective in helping prevent tooth decay. This is because the chewing action increases the production and flow of saliva, which helps dislodge food particles trapped between teeth. In addition to that, more saliva means better acid neutralization to inhibit bacteria action. And lastly, healthy saliva flow carries with it more calcium and phosphate, both of which are crucial to the strength of teeth.
It’s important to mention as well that there are chewing gums that are formulated to boost oral health. They have xylitol and breath-freshening ingredients. Xylitol strengthens teeth and breath-freshening ingredients like menthol and spearmint temporarily arrest bad breath-causing bacteria. So chewing gum? It’s a resounding yes for oral health.
Meanwhile, grinding teeth is a big no-no. However, people tend to do this unconsciously. Health experts say this habit is often due to stress.
Teeth grinding or bruxism is harmful to the enamel of the teeth. The constant friction can wear away the protective enamel of teeth. When the enamel thins, teeth can become very sensitive to all kinds of elements and highly prone to the formation of cavities because of the “scarring” on the tooth’s surface. It’s not only teeth that get affected by bruxism; gums can feel sore as well because of it — some people even experience swelling of the gums due to severe teeth grinding.
Dr. Costes, owner of Horizon Dental Group, recommends wearing a mouth guard to prevent tooth-on-tooth contact while sleeping. A mouth guard is effective enough in preventing the effects of bruxism on oral health. Another popular recommendation is the treatment of stress because clinical studies reveal that people who grind their teeth but take active steps in managing their stress actually sleep more soundly and do not grind their teeth as much.
These only go to show that repetitive motions do have a great impact on oral health. There are those that are helpful and those that are harmful, so maintain the former and learn to do away with the latter if you want to preserve your pearly whites and have fresh breath.