Have you ever fallen asleep without brushing your teeth and figured it was no big deal? While this happens to most of us from time to time, it’s certainly nothing you want to become a habit.
Skipping your brushing and flossing can have lifelong effects on your health. It is so important that all of our patients remember to floss, brush twice each day, and schedule regular dentist appointments.
You Could Develop Gum Disease
Did you know that gingivitis affects more than half of US citizens? Did you also know that it is impossible to remove all bacteria once it enters your gums? After being diagnosed with gum disease, you’ll need to visit the dentist every three months instead of six to keep it under control.
You develop gum disease after plaque sits on your teeth and eventually develops what dentists call super plaque. The super plaque settles into your gum line, hardening into tartar and making it difficult to clean between teeth. Eventually, your gums become so irritated by the tartar that you develop the most common type of gum disease, gingivitis.
Gingivitis is not painful, so many people leave it untreated. In these scenarios, pockets form at the base of the teeth where food often gets caught and even more plaque builds. This can lead to discolored teeth, swollen gums, and a more serious form of gum disease called periodontitis.
Your Breath Will Stink
You’re probably familiar with halitosis, a foul smelling mouth odor that plagues 65% of Americans. Sub-par oral hygiene is actually the biggest contributing factor to halitosis. The smell comes from decaying food and plaque feeding in your mouth.
Your Teeth Could Fall Out
Periodontitis can spread to your jaw and cause your gums to pull away from your teeth, creating space that easily becomes infected. As time goes on, your body will begin to break down the bone and tissue holding your teeth in place and it becomes more likely that your teeth will fall out. In fact, most Americans aged 20-64 have lost 7 teeth on average due to gum disease.
You Could Develop Other Health Problems
It won’t take long for bacteria left in your mouth to travel throughout the body, causing an array of other health issues. Some common diseases linked to poor oral hygiene include the following:
- Diabetes: Gum infections can cause your blood sugar to rise, making diabetes much more difficult to control. In fact, it’s common for those suffering from diabetes to also suffer from periodontitis.
- Heart Disease: Bacteria in your mouth can travel in the blood stream to your heart, where it can cause inflammation and subsequent heart problems.
- Pneumonia: You can inhale airborne bacteria from your mouth, causing respiratory infections.
All things considered, it seems silly to risk such serious health consequences and neglect regular oral hygiene routines.