When you were a kid, your parents would always remind you to brush your teeth every day. Now that you’re an adult, your dentist regularly tells you to do so. In fact, it’s recommended that you brush your teeth after every meal or at least twice a day. According to dental experts, this is the most basic oral habit you must have as part of your overall dental hygiene.
Unfortunately, some individuals tend to skip doing this, especially at night if they are tired and simply want to retire to their bed. A few others also forget to bring their toothbrush in the workplace, making them fail to clean their teeth at work.
But have you ever wondered what will happen if you don’t brush your teeth regularly? Here are three potential dental problems you may encounter for not doing so:
1. Dental cavities
Brushing your teeth is a way to eliminate the food particles and other substances left after eating or drinking. If you fail to do so, it’s easy for your teeth to accumulate plaque. As you may or may not be aware, plaque is a sticky film that coats the teeth and contains bacteria. It can penetrate the protective enamel of your teeth and attach the layers underneath. As a result, you’ll end up with a dental cavity, which can further lead to tooth decay and even tooth loss over time.
2. Gum diseases
The dental cavity brought by not brushing your teeth regularly doesn’t only impact your teeth. It can also significantly affect your gums, which can lead to the following diseases:
- Gingivitis: This is the first stage of gum disease, which can be characterized by swollen and bleeding gums. This infection occurs when plaque begins to build upon your teeth, and bacteria start to grow.
- Periodontitis: When gingivitis is left untreated, it can quickly escalate into the second stage—periodontitis. The bacteria will begin to damage the bone and connective fibers supporting your teeth. In the advanced stage, the tissue and the bone holding your teeth will be severely damaged.
3. Potential heart diseases
Did you know that your oral health has an indirect impact on your heart health? Tooth decay (dental cavities) and gum diseases (gingivitis and periodontitis) are said to affect your heart.
Some researchers discovered that the bacteria behind oral problems is the same bacteria that increase the heart disease rate or stroke. These include Porphyromonas gingivalis, Treponema denticola, Tannerella forsythia, and Fusobacterium nucleatum.
Overall, bad oral hygiene contributes to atherosclerosis (narrowing blood vessels), stroke, or heart disease. In fact, the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology found that those who brushed their teeth at least three times per day were less likely to experience it.
Top tips for your oral hygiene
Good oral hygiene varies from one person to another. But the American Dental Association recommends the following as a way to take care of your teeth:
- Brush your teeth twice a day using toothpaste with fluoride for at least 2 minutes.
- Floss your teeth once per day using an interdental toothbrush or dental picks.
- Visit your dentist every 6 months for a dental cleaning and other treatments.
- Monitor your food and beverage consumption.
- Have a healthy diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Quit smoking.
At this point, you now know what dental issues you may encounter if and when you don’t brush your teeth regularly: dental cavities, gum diseases, and potential heart diseases. That said, be sure to follow the top tips for your oral hygiene outlined above. Ultimately, don’t forget to brush your teeth at least twice a day—consistently!
We’re a dental house offering various dental services in Ann Arbor and Waterford, MI, from preventive to restorative down to cosmetic dentistry. If you’re looking for a local dentist in Ann Arbor for your oral care, get in touch with us today.