If you’ve ever rushed out the door without brushing your teeth, you’re not alone. And while skipping a day here and there won’t make much difference, if you were to stop brushing altogether, the outcome wouldn’t be good, as you might guess.
If you neglect your teeth and stop brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist for checkups, the outcome will not be positive.
It’s a Recipe for Gum Disease
More than half of Americans have gum disease, and if you stop brushing your teeth, you’ll be on the fast track to becoming one of them. Unfortunately, once the bacteria enters your gums, there’s no way to completely remove it. Once you’re diagnosed with gingivitis, you’ll need to visit the dentist every three months, instead of six.
When plaque sits on your teeth for prolonged periods of time, it develops into a substance that dentists call super plaque. That super plaque inhabits the space beneath your gum line, where it hardens into tartar, which is much harder to remove than plaque. The tartar then starts to irritate your gum tissue, and you have gingivitis, which is the most common type of gum disease.
Surprisingly, gingivitis isn’t painful, so many people don’t even realize they have it. However, it’s important to treat it early. If you don’t, pockets begin to form at the bases of your teeth where your gums are pulling away. Those pockets create an ideal environment for more plaque to collect. The result is discolored teeth, swollen gums, and the more serious form of gum disease: periodontitis.
You’ll Have Bad Breath
Most of us have caught a whiff of halitosis, or bad breath. After all, 65% of Americans have it. Less than stellar oral hygiene is one of the biggest contributing factors. In that case, the foul smell comes from plaque feeding in your mouth and food starting to break down. Gross!
Your Teeth Could Fall Out
As periodontitis progresses, it usually spreads to the jaw. The pockets in your gums give bacteria easy-access to your jaw bone, making it easy for your jaw to become infected. This eventually results in the disintegration of the bone and tissue that hold your teeth in place, which makes it likely that your teeth will fall out.
The majority of Americans between the ages of 20 and 64 have lost 7 teeth to gum disease.
You Could Suffer Other Health Issues as a Result
When bacteria and inflammation thrive in your mouth, they can also access other parts of your body, resulting in a range of health problems. Three diseases that are linked with bad dental hygiene are:
- Heart Disease: Bacteria in your mouth can make its way into your bloodstream, where it travels to your heart and causes inflammation. An inflamed heart is at risk for a number of issues.
- Diabetes: Gum infections can trigger a spike in blood sugar, which makes diabetes more difficult to control. As a matter of fact, many people who have diabetes also have periodontitis.
- Pneumonia: The bacteria in your mouth can become airborne, making it possible for you to inhale it where it travels to your lungs.
If you ask us, all these consequences don’t seem to be worth the risk. We’ll stick with dedicating a few minutes of our day to oral hygiene!