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2 Bad Habits That Have Just Been Discovered To Wreak Havoc On Oral Health

You likely know that maintaining good oral hygiene habits at home is just as important for the health of your teeth and gums as visiting the dentist every six months is. However, you may think you are doing everything right at home to promote good oral health, such as brushing your teeth two or three times a day, flossing daily, and even using a fluoride-filled mouth rinse regularly, yet not realize that a few of your other daily habits you don't think effect your teeth at all are secretly taking a toll on your oral health. 

While there are many other daily habits that can lead to bad oral health, read on to learn about two habits that have just been discovered to be much worse for your oral health than you may have expected. 

Electronic Cigarette Vapor Damages the Cells of Oral Tissues

Did you quit smoking tobacco cigarettes to improve your health and switch to using an electronic cigarette, also called vaping, to satisfy your daily nicotine cravings? Every since electronic cigarettes have been introduced to the American market, health professionals have urged users to proceed with caution due to the lack of studies on how they affect the health of the human body. 

While, until recently, just how electronic cigarette vapor affects oral health wasn't studied extensively, new studies have been conducted, and the results may be startling if you love vaping and think it is a healthy alternative to smoking tobacco cigarettes. 

One recent study revealed that electronic cigarette vapor that comes into contact with your mouth tissues damages them just as much as tobacco smoke does. While nicotine has long been known to be detrimental to gum health due to the fact that it causes blood vessels in gums to constrict, which cuts off their healthy supply of blood, the researchers were surprised to determine that even nicotine-free electronic cigarette vapor was very harmful to oral tissues. 

They believe that the rest of the damage e-cig vapors cause to oral tissues, aside from the damage nicotine can cause, is due to the flavoring agents that most electronic cigarette liquids contain. While most of the flavoring agents used in them are considered "food grade," they have never been tested for safety concerns that heating them to the high temperatures needed to vaporize them may pose. 

While these studies may be alarming, don't go back to smoking traditional tobacco cigarettes, because the smoke they produce still likely contains many more cancer-causing carcinogens than electronic cigarette vapor. Instead, focus on slowly reducing your usage of your e-cigarette until you feel you can go without it or look into trying another smoking cessation device, such as nicotine gum or lozenges, and taper yourself off them until you are finally nicotine-free. 

Not Chewing Your Food Thoroughly Causes You to Miss out on a Newly Discovered Oral Health Benefit of Chewing

It can be all-too-easy to neglect chewing your food properly if you live a fast-paced lifestyle and often have to "grab a bite" on the go to fit meals into your daily schedule. Until recently, no huge health hazards of not chewing food properly had been discovered, although it has been known that chewing does stimulate your mouth's production of saliva that not only helps aids in digestion, but also helps protect your teeth from acids that can cause cavities.

However, that recently changed when a study revealed that the act of chewing food causes your body to release a cell that is very important to your immune system and can help fight oral infections. So, if you want to improve your oral health easily, begin chewing each bite of food thoroughly before you swallow it. You can then reap not only the acid-neutralizing benefits of saliva, but also the slight boost in your immune system that chewing can provide. 

If you care about your oral health, then you likely know that while visiting your dentist every six months is important, another key to a healthy mouth is maintaining good oral-health habits at home. If you use an electronic cigarette or tend to neglect chewing your food properly, realize that changing these two habits can greatly improve your oral health.