You have been likely told about the importance of teeth cleaning. It is not just about hygiene. Brushing your teeth regularly is not just about maintaining good oral hygiene; it protects your overall health too. There are several conditions that can go along with not cleaning your teeth. You are risking more than just cavities.
Why is teeth cleaning necessary?
Many people still fall short when it comes to proper oral hygiene and teeth cleaning. According to the CDC, nearly 32% of adults have untreated cavities. While cavities may still occur despite your best efforts, one of the most effective ways to prevent dental plaque is to thoroughly clean your teeth daily.
What happens when you do not clean your teeth regularly?
We use our teeth on a regular basis, so it is expected that many things can go wrong over time, especially if we do not take proper care of them. Getting your teeth cleaned regularly is important to avoid experiencing at least one of the following dental problems during your lifetime:
1. Plaque buildup
According to the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry, there are more than 300 specific types of bacteria living in your mouth. When you do not regularly brush, these bacteria will feed on food particles and sugary debris, causing tooth decay and plaque buildup.
Plaque can develop within less than 24 hours and if not cleaned immediately, the bacteria in plaque will feed on the sugars in the mouth and thrive. Over time, it will get thicker and heavier. If not removed with a tooth brushing, the minerals in the saliva will harden the soft, sticky substance into tartar.
Plaque can spread all over your mouth. It forms on the flat surfaces of your teeth, where it comes in contact regularly with your tongue. It can also reach gingival crevices, the small spaces between your tooth and gum.
2. Gingivitis or gum disease
Over time, if the plaque is not removed through cleaning, the bacteria in plaque also produce their own waste products. These are acids that can irritate the gums, causing redness, inflammation, and bleeding. It takes only a few days for these symptoms to develop. This can be considered as the early stage of gum disease or gingivitis.
Living with such can be irritating and uncomfortable. It does affect your confidence, mood, and general health.
To treat gingivitis and prevent gum bleeding, you need to remove the plaque and bacteria that irritate your gums. This can be done by improving your cleaning at home or seeing a dentist.
3. Bad breath
With all the nasty bacteria not being cleaned away and feeding on the sugars in your mouth, your breath will likely have an unpleasant smell.
Aside from acids, the bacteria in your mouth also releases sulphites, contributing to bad breath.
Failing to brush can cause accumulation of dead cells in your tongue and attract more bacteria too!
4. Tooth loss
Actual tooth loss will likely occur because of failing to clean and care for your teeth long-term.
If you ignore the pain and other health implications of not cleaning your teeth, not to mention the confidence issues of having poor oral health, then teeth will come loose or fall out sooner or later.
Teeth become loose because the bacteria in your gums produce enzymes that can start eating your bones. With more bones being eaten up, there is more room for bacteria to grow, causing the cycle to start again for further bone and tooth loss.
By this point, you are more likely to see a dentist as pain, discomfort, and possible infection might just be too much.
Is there a link between oral and general health?
You might not have ever thought about it, but did you know that besides oral problems, poor oral hygiene can cause more serious systemic conditions? It appears that a healthy mouth can help you maintain a healthy body.
Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects too many people, children and adults alike. Evidence showed an association between gum infection and diabetes.
Periodontal disease is quite common among diabetics, affecting nearly 22% of patients. They are at greater risk because of poor blood sugar control. As with all infections, serious gum disease may also cause blood sugar to rise.
2. Heart Disease
Bacteria from the oral cavity can go into the circulation, causing heart problems like infective endocarditis. The bacteria in plaques can transition and develop on the arteries and heart valves.
Most often than not, dentists suggest the use of antibiotics as a preventive measure before performing dental procedures.
3. Cognitive Problems
A review of studies suggests a link between chewing and blood flow to the brain. Circulation greatly affects the brain’s ability to function properly. People with 20 teeth or less are 26% more likely to develop cognitive problems that may eventually cause Alzheimer’s.
Keeping your mouth healthy and teeth cleaning at home should be a daily commitment. Aside from brushing and flossing, your daily teeth cleaning routine can include the use of oral rinses or mouthwash. A regular visit to a dentist is also highly recommended for oral prophylaxis.
If you are looking for holistic dentistry services to maintain healthy teeth and gums, call our office at (970) 247-3303. We offer most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. Enjoy exceptional and affordable dental care to keep those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright.