Bad Habits That Can Lead To Dental Problems

Our Cheshunt dentists discuss how lifestyle choices can affect our oral health.

We are not here to judge people, or to moralise and we’re sure that any regular patient of The Lodge Dental Suite would happily tell you that.

As can be seen from the testimonials that we receive, our friendly approach is one of the main reasons that people attend our practice.

The reality however, is that some choices that we make in life can have negative consequences for our teeth, gums and oral health in general. So with this in mind, we offer our views on a number of common habits that can affect you in this way.


Aside from the staining impact that smoking has on your teeth, it can lead to increased infections due to restricted blood flow to the gums. Oral cancer is another real possibility and stopping smoking is one of the biggest things you can do to keep your mouth healthy – as well as improving your health generally.


Studies seem to show that a small amount of alcohol may actually be beneficial and many of us will occasionally drink to wind down after a stressful day at work. Excess alcohol however, can have a similar negative impact on our teeth and gums to smoking. Additionally, dehydration is common when alcohol is drunk, and the dry mouth that this causes adds to the increased likelihood of gum disease as the ‘bad’ oral bacteria thrive in this environment.


Not brushing your teeth is obviously bad for your teeth and gums as it leaves food debris in place, and as this breaks down, the acids and bacteria it produces start to eat at the enamel of your teeth, leading to tooth decay. A less well known problem, but one that is not uncommon, is for people to brush too hard and damage the protective enamel of the teeth. Gentle circular brushing is all that is needed.

Dental Phobia

A fear of the dentist can cause some people to not attend a dental practice for a long period of time. Even with the best oral home care, your teeth are likely to require treatment if you do not see a dentist for some time. If you are anxious about your dental visits, our friendly Cheshunt dentists are happy to discuss this with you and reassure you that you will be in good hands.

Teeth Grinding

Some people grind their teeth at night whilst they sleep and in extreme cases, this can lead to the teeth breaking. Even relatively mild teeth grinding can cause wearing of the teeth as well as the potential for jaw problems. Unfortunately, this can be a difficult habit to break and may be related to stress. There are preventative measures that can be taken and our dentists are happy to discuss this with you.


A lot of people, these days, seem to ‘graze’ rather than have set meals. This is OK except for the fact that many of these foods contain high levels of sugar, and continual ‘grazing’ means that your teeth are almost continually bombarded with sugars which may lead to decay.

Your teeth as a tool

Finally, your teeth are not nutcrackers, or bottle openers, so please don’t use them in this way! Using them in this manner is almost certain to result in the teeth breaking.

Hopefully, the above will make you think twice if you have any of these habits. Our helpful dental team at The Lodge Dental Suite are always here to offer advice or answer any questions that you have relating to your dental care. If you live in Cheshunt, Enfield, Waltham Abbey or surrounding areas of Hertfordshire, why not give us a call on 01992 643388.