Tooth Shattering Habits

Many times damage to enamel and tooth structure are caused by seemingly innocent habits that are repeated unconsciously, or subconsciously. These habits may be ingrained quite deep within the patient’s mind, and may be difficult to overwrite or otherwise tame. But tamed they must be, because they are bad for the teeth. Here are the top habits that seem innocuous enough, but that repeatedly land patients at the emergency dentist’s office. 

Chewing ice

Many people like to chew ice cubes, or icicles in the winter. Fishing out the ice cubes from a cold drink and chewing them up maybe a great way to relieve the heat of the day, but it is dangerous to your teeth- especially when its hot out. Your teeth will reflect the heat of the weather outside, and when the weather suddenly drops, your teeth may crack from the sudden drop. These cracks are cracks in your enamel, and do not necessarily affect the other tooth structures, but they can cause pain and sensitivity, as the internal structures are exposed through the cracks and react with the outside world, causing sensitivity to hot or cold, perhaps to spicy food or vinegar. These cracks can also harbour bacteria and become cavities. 

Grinding your teeth

A high stress lifestyle can have all sorts of negative repercussions. Besides hypertension, high blood pressure, heart problems, stomach ulcers and hair loss, your teeth also suffer when you are stressed out. A lot of us unwillingly clench their teeth or even grind them when we are angry or stressing out, and this destroys the cusps of our teeth, can scratch up our enamel, and can even damage our TMJ- the joint that connects our mandible (lower jaw) to our maxilla (upper jaw).


Smoking dries out the mouth, puts toxic chemicals in them, and destroys tooth enamel. Smokers in general have much worse oral health than non-smokers, including more cavities, cavities being caused more often. Smokers are also much more prone to gum disease, specifically to gum recession, and there is also the correlation between smoking and oral cancer. Having your mouth compromised as such will cause more dental emergencies to occur.


Unlike all of the other habits on this list, sports are actually good for you- its just that some of them require you to wear a tooth guard. Contact sports always carry the risk of trauma, but even games like basketball or baseball, where contact is minimal can be a risk if the ball hits you in the mouth. Wear protective gear and you can spare yourself a trip to the emergency dentist.

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