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Participating in random street brawls with any frequency poses a clear risk to your teeth. Although you might brush, floss, rinse, and visit your dentist regularly, you still might be doing irreversible damage to your teeth through your living-on-the-edge lifestyle. In addition to the danger of having a tooth knocked out in the occasional street brawl, there are several less obvious ways you might be putting your dental health at risk.
Hormonal changes (puberty, etc.)
Clenching and grinding teeth, including during sleep
Some medications that lessen the flow of saliva (consult your doctor regarding such side effects of any medication you might be taking)
Poor nutrition makes it difficult for your body to fight infections, such as gum disease
Illnesses, similarly, can make it difficult for your body to take on additional bacteria in your mouth
Some of these living conditions, such as illnesses or hormonal change, you might have very little control over. Others, such as poor nutrition and tobacco smoking, are clearly in your ability to fix, otherwise you should figure out how to find a good dentist.
For the ones that lie in between these two camps, there are various branches of medicine that can help you deal with issues such as stress and clenching and grinding your teeth, both habitually and during your sleep. If you find yourself ticking off a bunch of the items in that list, you should consult your health professional to see how to lessen the impact on your health and on your teeth.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|