You know the feeling. You’re happily chewing away on your lunch, talking with a coworker when all of a sudden, you hear a crunch. You feel the pain. You realize you’ve just bit your cheek (or lip, or tongue — doesn’t really matter, it all hurts!). This painful accident can be an ongoing problem for many. At our dental office in Sparks, chronic biting of any tissues in the mouth can be concerning. Let’s look at why.
Why is it Bad?
Besides the obvious reason of it hurts, there are a few additional concerns of biting the lips and cheeks. Following a bite, usually a sore appears and lasts a few days. While this isn’t concerning for the occasional nip, if biting is an ongoing problem, sores can become infected. Any infection in the mouth is concerning itself, especially if left untreated.
Why Do We Do it?
Like we’ve previously mentioned, most of the time a bite is accidental and only happens occasionally. If this is the case, there’s probably no reason to be worried. However, when lip or cheek biting becomes a chronic thing, there are a few possible explanations. Most commonly, constant biting is a nervous habit or even done out of boredom, like biting your nails. Other times, there’s an anatomical explanation. If bites are a recurring thing and it’s not because of nervousness, there’s a possibility malocclusion, or a bad bite, is causing the trouble. When the teeth don’t close together neatly, the chance of a cheek or lip getting in between them is high. Additionally, malocclusion can lead to its own problems like headaches, jaw pain, TMJ (temporomandibular disorder), and shifting teeth.
How To Stop
You don’t have to continue to live with the pain and annoyance of constant biting. Try following the tips below:
- Know your triggers. If your lip or cheek biting is a result of stress or nerves as opposed to a bad bite, start paying attention to when you’re doing it and work to either avoid those triggers or work to consciously stop yourself when the trigger is unavoidable.
- Enlist the help of friends. There’s a chance you bite more often than you realize, so ask friends to point out when you’re doing it so you can work to stop it.
- Visit your dentist. If your biting isn’t habitual and your alignment may be an issue, talk with your dentist in Sparks.
Don’t have a dentist to talk to? Give our Sparks dental office a call to schedule an appointment. We’re always happy to help, no matter what your concern may be.
Sugar is every dentist’s worst enemy. It negatively affects oral health and puts teeth at increased risk for decay, cavities, and can lead to more serious dental and overall health problems. At our dental office in Sparks, we care about our patients’ smiles and well being, which why we’re strong believers in limiting the amount of sugar they ingest. In this blog, we talk about the top ways reduce your family’s sugar intake for a healthier, happier smile and body.
Sugar: It’s Not Just a Tooth Problem
When most people think of sugar, they immediately think of its negative effect on teeth. And while that’s definitely a fact, too much sugar can be dangerous to overall health too. An abundance of sugar in one’s diet can cause headaches, lead to overeating, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and contribute to cardiovascular disease.
How Much Is Too Much?
You shouldn’t cut sugar out of your diet entirely as it’s necessary for proper body function. But how much do you really need? The recommended amount of sugar intake varies from age to age and between genders. According to the American Heart Association, maximum daily sugar intake for adults is 37.5 grams for men and 25 grams for women.
Ways to Lower Sugar Intake
- Eliminate sweets. Sounds easier said than done, but there are other healthier ways to get the recommended amount of sugar, like fruits, for example.
- Check out labels. Sugar can hide in some surprising places such as yogurt and cereal. Read the labels and know what you’re buying.
- Remove sugary drinks. Soda is the obvious one, but teas, flavored waters, and sports drinks can also pack a sugary punch. Stick to water.
- Cook at home. By making your own meals, you’re in control of what ingredients you include.
- Choose unsweetened. Satisfy cravings for treats by selecting unsweetened versions of common baked goods.
Reducing the amount of sugar in your family’s diet can do a lot to protect oral and overall health. We know it may be challenging, but we know you can do it! Remember, diet is only part of what makes smiles and bodies happy. Always keep appointments with your Sparks dentist at least twice a year.