5 Consequences of Bad Oral Hygiene

Woman covering mouth

Neglecting good oral hygiene leads to a host of unwanted issues and some of them could cause serious health implications.

Many through fear of going to the dentist or because they don’t make it a priority, delay seeing a dentist or oral health clinic. But left unattended, little things can snowball into serious dental problems and develop into more pressing health issues.

Treatments to fix oral issues such as Invisilign, braces, or space maintainers are used to address spacing issues with teeth, but here’s some of the more common oral health issues that people face.

Tooth Decay

Plaque or cavities forming and settling on the surface of teeth is the beginning of tooth decay. Plaque turns sugars from consumed food into harmful acid that destroys teeth — depending on the severity, cavities can either create a hole in teeth or cause them to fall out entirely.

You increase your chances of developing plaque if you don’t brush teeth regularly or use mouthwash with fluoride-based products. Flossing is also highly recommended to remove food that’s difficult to remove by brushing.

Gingivitis and Gum Disease

If plaque is left on the surface of teeth, the bacteria may also inflame the gums and cause them to swell and bleed. This is gingivitis and if left untreated by a dental professional, it could advance into gum disease or periodontal disease.

In worst case scenarios, gums will recede and lose their strength to hold teeth in place. So aside from unhealthy gums, teeth may also fall out.

Atherosclerosis and Other Cardiovascular disease

In some cases, when gums become inflamed due to plaque build up, the bacteria that makes up the latter may find their way into the bloodstream. In such a scenario, the arteries are at risk of being blocked by plaque. If there is considerable blockage, the plaque could impede blood from reaching the vital organs and trigger a heart attack. Plaque could also infect the lining of the heart, resulting in Endocarditis.

Oral Cancer

This manifests as persistent sores or bumps in the mouth. They may appear around the lips, cheeks, and other parts of the mouth. Smoking and excessive drinking of alcohol are some practices that increase your risk of oral cancer. While men and elderly people are often more at risk of getting oral cancer, socio-economic factors will also come into play.

Respiratory Problems

Similarly, bacteria from infected teeth and swollen gums can also make its way into your respiratory track and wreak havoc there. Pneumonia, acute bronchitis, or other respiratory infections (e.g. tonsillitis, pharyngitis, severe flu) could develop. Individuals that are easily susceptible to respiratory problems should take good care of their oral health.

 The Bright Side

Close-up Of A Woman Looking In Mirror Cleaning Her Tongue

The likelihood of these health complications taking hold can be reduced or prevented. With frequent brushing of teeth, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist you can do a lot to keep these health issues at bay. You can further increase oral health by smoking and drinking less, as well as reducing sugar consumption. The list looks scary and certainly, it shouldn’t be taken lightly, but a little care and a regular oral health routine mean that most if not all these issues are avoidable.


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