If you are visiting a new dental clinic, then you will need to talk to the professional staff about your lifestyle choices and habits because many of these can affect how healthy your teeth and gums are. Certain habits and lifestyle choices can heighten your risk for cavities, gingivitis, and even a serious form of gum disease known as periodontitis. Here are three lifestyle choices and habits that you should discuss with your new dentist and how you can reduce your risk for oral problems.
Habitual Coffee Intake
If you only drink an occasional cup of coffee, it probably will not negatively affect the condition of your teeth. If, however, you are what is known as a habitual coffee drinker, you may be at an increased risk for developing acid erosion. When this happens, the dental enamel on your teeth can erode, leaving your pulp and nerves susceptible to bacterial invasion.
When dental enamel is healthy and strong, infection-causing microorganisms are unable to easily invade the structure of your teeth. If the enamel is soft, thin, and eroding, bacteria has an easier time entering the inside of your tooth.
Tell your dentist that you drink coffee on a regular basis so that he or she understands the reason for your enamel erosion. While cutting down or giving up coffee altogether may not reverse existing acid erosion, it may help prevent future erosion from developing.
Smoking cigarettes can damage the small capillaries inside your mouth and in your gum tissue. When these capillaries are damaged as a result of smoking, circulation can be impeded, raising your risk for gingivitis. In severe cases of poor oral circulation, an extreme form of gum disease known as periodontitis can develop.
Periodontitis not only has the potential to destroy your gum tissue, but it may also lead to the deterioration of underlying bone. If you smoke, let your dentist know so that your gum tissue can be closely monitored for changes in color, circulation, and shape.
During dental exams, your mouth is probed with dental instruments. Certain medications such as aspirin and prescription anticoagulants can decrease platelet aggregation as well as thin your blood. Because of this, profuse bleeding can occur during dental instrument probing.
When your dentist and hygienist are aware of your aspirin intake, he or she can take extra precautions to help minimize bleeding during your examination. While bleeding gums are a nuisance, never stop taking your aspirin or prescription anticoagulants without first getting medical clearance from your physician.
This is especially true if these medications were prescribed to reduce your risk for heart attack, blood clots, or stroke. Abruptly stopping your medication can raise your risk for a dangerous cardiovascular event.
If you take aspirin, smoke cigarettes, or drink coffee on a regular basis, tell your new dentist. When he or she is aware of your lifestyle choices and daily habits, your teeth and gums can be monitored more closely so that early changes can be recognized and treated before they become problematic.
Reach out to a local dental clinic for more information.