What If You Stopped Brushing Your Teeth?

December 17, 2018

Girl brushing her teethIt’s easy to forget to brush your teeth every once in a while, especially when you fall asleep too soon or you’re rushing in the morning. You may think it’s no big deal, and if it happens only occasionally, you’re probably fine. However, don’t make a habit out of it!

The more often you skip brushing and flossing your teeth, the more problems you will create that can potentially last a lifetime. That’s why we stress how important it is to brush twice a day, floss once and visit your dentist every 6 months to make sure your teeth are in good health.

Wondering what some of those negative, yet easily avoidable, side effects of not brushing could be? Keep reading…

Gum Disease

Did you know more than half of US citizens have gingivitis? Unfortunately, once bacteria enters your gums, it’s impossible to remove all of it. All you can do is keep it from worsening. And keeping it at bay requires more dentist visits per year—every 3 months instead of 6—once you’ve been diagnosed.

Gum disease develops when plaque sits on the surface of your teeth and forms into what is known as super plaque. The super plaque makes itself at home in your gum line and hardens into tarter that makes it challenging to clean between your teeth. Over time, when the tarter irritates your gums for too long, you can develop gingivitis, the most common form of gum disease.

Luckily gingivitis is not painful, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect treating it. More plaque can build up in pockets that form at the base of your teeth, leading to numerous undesirable outcomes including discolored teeth, swollen gums and periodontitis, a more serious type of gum disease.

Bad Breath

Girl hiding bad breathThe technical term is halitosis, though it’s more commonly known as that foul smell coming from someone’s mouth. Bad breath plagues 65% of Americans, but it doesn’t have to be that way considering sub-par oral hygiene is the number one contributing cause. Keeping up with brushing will prevent decaying food and plaque from lingering in your mouth.

Lost Teeth

If periodontitis has set in, it can spread to your jaw and make your gums pull away from your teeth. This space in between can become infected quite easily, and over time, can cause the break down of the bone and tissue holding your teeth in place. This leaves your teeth vulnerable and more likely to fall out. In fact, gum disease is the reason most Americans ages 20 to 64 have lost 7 teeth on average.

More Health Problems

Bacteria left in your mouth can travel to other parts of your body, making more unexpected health issues pop up. Poor oral hygiene can cause or exacerbate the following common diseases:

  • Diabetes: Periodontitis and diabetes often go hand-in-hand, with many people suffering from both at the same time. Unfortunately gum infections make diabetes much harder to control, as the infection causes blood sugar to rise to dangerous levels.
  • Heart Disease: When the bacteria in your mouth travels into the blood stream, it can reach your heart. This means heart inflammation and subsequent problems.
  • Pneumonia: Respiratory infections can be caused by bacteria in your mouth becoming airborne and then getting inhaled into your lungs.

With all of these unwanted side effects from neglecting to brush your teeth, it’s much easier to keep up with your oral hygiene routine and come see us every 6 months!