You know those nights where you’re laying in bed and you realise you forgot to brush your teeth and then you go “Do I really need to get up?” Well skipping one night wouldn’t be the end of the world, but what would happen if you never brushed your teeth? like NEVER.
It’s actually a lot worse than you might think. Mouths are dirty, dark, moist places full of breeding bacteria. In fact, one mouth can contain more bacteria than there are people on earth! When we’re brushing our teeth we’re scrubbing away that excess bacteria, food particles, and plaque. When we don’t brush all that gross stuff just continually builds up in our mouthes. Hooray! our immune system goes into overdrive just to try to clear all of it out, but they it can’t and the consequences, to not brushing at all, can be much worse than the cavities, gingivitis our dentists warn us about. But before we get to that let’s start with the basics:
Plaque is a film that coats your teeth and feeds on leftover sugars in your mouth, it produces an enamel eating acid that naws away at your teeth leaving holes, known as cavities. Uncontrolled plaque can also cause inflammation of the gums AKA gingivitis, discoloured teeth, and horrible bad breathe. When bacteria really starts to build up you increase your risk of developing something called Periodontitis. Which is the erosion of the tissue and gums that support your teeth. The mouth just can’t hold the teeth anymore, so they fall out. This is the leading cause of tooth lose and if you’ve never brushed your teeth you’d probably have a lot less choppers than the rest of us! Now this may seem like your run of the mill Dentist spiel, but this stuff can get serious. The bacteria in your mouth is both good and bad. But things like MRSA and Staphylococcus Aureus can thrive there. And if you’ve never brushed your teeth, harmful bacteria like these can worm they way under your gums and get access to your blood. Yikes!
Bad oral care has also been linked to serious diseases. Such as Heart Disease, COPD, Pneumonia, and Endocarditis. Which is an infection of the inner lining of your heart channels or valves. So if you’re leaving your mouth to fend for itself you better watch out for these conditions. A few controversial studies have found links between bad oral hygiene and things like dementia and erectile dysfunction. And remember how not brushing erodes areas of your mouth? Well studies have shown that those pockets may serve as reservoirs for HPV and cancer causing substances. Thankfully now we’ve got modern toothbrushes and floss to protect our pearly whites. But in ancient times people chewed on twigs to clean their teeth, then scraped the surfaces with the frayed end. So yea, things have gotten a lot better.
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