Most of us have experienced some kind of aches and pains with our teeth at one point in our lives. As a child, and even now as an adult, the experience of going to a dentist can be nerve wrecking. Our teeth can go bad for many reasons, some within our control and others the result of nature and bad genes. While the bad news may be that you’ll need to see a dental professional to fix these issues the good new is with teeth there is always a solution. Listed below are a few reasons why our teeth go bad:

1. Smoking

We’ve all heard it from family, friends and our doctors that smoking is bad for our lungs and our heart, but what about our mouths? In addition to many cardiovascular issues that can arise from smoking, it can impact how our mouths look, feel and function.Smoking stains our teeth, causes bad breath, reduces sense of taste and greatly increases risk of oral cancer. Still need a reason to quit?!

2. Prescription Medications

Saliva is essential to maintaining the health of our mouths just like some medications can be crucial to maintaining our overall health.There are hundreds of prescription medications including chemotherapy medicines that can cause dry mouth.When our mouths are low on saliva, our gum tissue can become irritated which can increase the chances of infection and tooth decay. If you are on a medication that has this side effect ask your doctor if saliva stimulating medication is right for you and remember

to stay hydrated!

3. Poor Oral Hygiene

Most of us have been taught that we should be brushing, flossing and rinsing our mouths with mouthwash twice a day, yet some of us weren’t raised in a household that made this a priority. While many of us are aware that routine checkups are important, it can be easily overlooked. Unfortunately, some of us may not be in the financial position to receive dental care. With that being said, if dental care is within your reach then routine checkups are a great way of maintaining a healthy smile. If not, simply brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash will certainly get you ahead of bad teeth.

4. Age

No matter how hard we try to stop it, time flies, and the only thing we can do about it is to stay young at heart.As we age, there are some physical changes that appear to the naked eye, yet there may be some changes that are not easily noticeable. Our teeth tend to change with thinning enamel and less saliva production. Saliva contributes to washing away some of the leftover food debris trapped in our mouths. As the production of saliva decreases the health of our mouths deteriorate because bacteria invade and weaken our outer protective layer. If you are experiencing this try chewing gum to increase the production of saliva and as always, hydration is a must.

5. Grinding and Clenching

Occasional grinding and clenching may not be harmful for our mouths, but what happens when we spend an entire night unknowingly doing this during our sleep? Small fractures, tooth sensitivity, a clicking jaw and headaches are only a few of the side effects, along with TMJ pain and wearing down our teeth.If you notice any of these signs ask your dental professional about a custom night guard. When in doubt, feel free to drop by one of our Smile Store locations for a free consultation.

Now that we’ve gone over reasons why our teeth go bad, it is important to know that this doesn’t have to be imminent.  Many causes of bad teeth can be avoided and some may not be as easy to steer clear of.  Maintaining good oral hygiene routine and regular visits to your dentist are essential to keeping our mouths happy and healthy for many years. After all, smiles are often the first thing others notice about you!