Taking care of your gums is an important part of maintaining your oral health. Your gums essentially work by making a tight seal around each tooth. This provides support as well as a barrier against bacteria. So here we have some habits that are bad for your gums to avoid.

Habits that Are Bad for Your Gums

Unfortunately, your gums are also highly sensitive. They require specific care if you want them to provide proper protection. That means avoiding the bad habits that are most likely to cause lasting damage. These are some of the most common habits that you should probably kick to the curb. 

Nail Biting

Nail-biting is a nervous behavior that is all too common. You might find yourself falling prey to nail-biting when you’re stressed or mulling over your thoughts. Sadly, your nails aren’t the only thing being damaged by this habit.

Nail-biting puts your jaw in a unique position, forcing it to protrude in an abnormal way. At the same time, it puts excess strain on your teeth as well as your gums. If you want to protect your long-term oral health, consider looking into ways to stop nail-biting. 

Brushing Too Hard

Your teeth are strong, but the enamel that protects them may not be as strong as you think. Using a toothbrush with harder bristles or placing too much direct pressure on your toothbrush can actually damage your enamel as well as your gums. 

To get the most out of your brushing, dentists actually recommend using gentle bristles with gentle strokes. This reduces the risk of scratching your enamel and gives your gums the gentle massage they deserve. 

Constant Snacking

You probably already know that you’re supposed to brush at least twice a day, but do you know why? It takes about 12 hours for plaque to begin forming, so brushing twice a day prevents plaque from hardening into tartar. 

Unfortunately, your teeth and gums are still susceptible to bacteria during those 12 hours. In a perfect world you would brush your time every time you ate or drank, but that just isn’t practical for most people. Instead, it’s usually more practical to limit your eating to a few main meals where you can brush immediately after. 

Tobacco Use

Using tobacco has a long list of unpleasant side effects, and your gums are not spared. Whether you smoke or chew tobacco, you are exposing your teeth and gums to a wide variety of harmful chemicals. 

Tobacco also contains elements that impede your immune system. It makes it harder for you to fight disease, and that includes gum disease. If you smoke regularly, you may want to look into treatment for periodontal disease in Los Angeles, just in case. Catching it early can help to preserve your teeth. 

Regular Consumption of Acidic Drinks

Some drinks are more acidic than others. Common culprits include coffee, red wine, and lemonade. While enjoying these drinks on occasion is unlikely to cause lasting damage, it is important that you take extra precautions, especially if you drink them more frequently. 

However, that doesn’t mean rushing for your toothbrush after having a glass of red wine. Brushing immediately after consuming an acidic liquid can actually do more damage because your enamel is temporarily weakened. Instead, just give your mouth a good rinse with water and brush about 20 minutes later. 

Dealing with Gum Disease

It’s never too late to improve your habits, but there might already be some damage if any of these habits sound familiar. If you’re worried that you may have damaged your teeth or your gums, then just make an appointment with your dentist at LA Wilshire Periodontics. A little peace of mind can go a long way. 


1127 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 812
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Tel:(213) 481-2699