15 Ways to Wreck Your Teeth
To make your teeth last a lifetime, don't do these things.
12. Be Bulimic.
Bulimia, which is characterized by bingeing and vomiting, can cause significant dental problems because of the stomach acids.
“The enamel is usually just kind of worn off, mostly on the front teeth, but even going to the back teeth,” King says. If the damage is done, you may need restorations.
13. Abuse Drugs Such as “Meth."
Crystal methamphetamine, an illegal and highly addictive stimulant, can wreak havoc on your mouth. Users often crave sugary foods and drinks, clench their teeth, and have dry mouth. Telltale signs of “meth mouth” are rampant decay with blackened teeth on the verge of falling out.
“People on methamphetamines are notorious for not taking care of themselves,” Gross says. “By the time the patient is 25 or 30, they are looking at a full set of dentures.”
14. Chronically Use Some Legal Medications.
Oral contraceptives change a woman’s hormonal balance and can lead to chronic gum disease.
“Once they get off the medication, the damage is often done,” Gross says. Some over-the-counter cough medications have lots of sugar, and antihistamines can cause dry mouth, which can lead to decay since saliva protects the teeth.
15. Continue Lighting Up.
Smoking is bad for teeth and gums. Stains make teeth more susceptible to bacteria. It’s also a factor in the development of periodontal or gum and bone disease.
“The smoke impedes the ability of the gum tissue to maintain a healthy state and fight off disease-creating bacteria,” Gross says. “Almost half of the people who are over 60 who wear dentures are smokers.”