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5 Ways Poor Oral Hygiene Can Impact Your Life

5 Effects of Poor Oral HygieneIt’s absolutely essential that you take good care of your gums and teeth.

There are very few people who actually know just how important good oral health is on your overall health. The mouth is the ultimate gateway into your body, so any bacteria from your mouth can travel to other parts of your body and put you at risk for other conditions and diseases.

You’re supposed to brush and floss every single day, but do you do it? According to a statistical survey performed by the American Dental Association in 2013, less than 31% of Americans floss daily, and nearly 19% do not floss at all. That’s a lot of people with poor dental hygiene!

So what does this mean for your overall health and well-being? It means a lot, and here are some of the most serious effects of poor dental hygiene on your body.

1. Risk for Heart Disease and Stroke

Individuals who suffer from some type of periodontal disease are twice as likely to be diagnosed with heart disease and narrowing of the arteries that is caused by plaque and bacteria that enters the body through the gums.

This bacteria has the ability to clog arteries and increase your risk of a severe heart attack. The blood vessel that sends blood to your brain can become clogged and increase your risk of suffering from a stroke as well.

2. Risk of Suffering from Dementia

If you have poor oral hygiene and it causes you to suffer from tooth loss, this could lead to potential loss of memory which can then lead to dementia. There are substances which are inflammatory in nature that can cause parts of your brain to die.

3. Respiratory Conditions

If you suffer from periodontal disease, bacteria has the potential to travel into your bloodstream and into your lungs where it can have a direct impact on your respiratory system. It puts you at a greater risk of suffering from acute bronchitis or chronic pneumonia according to studies performed by the Journal of Periodontology.

4. Risk of Diabetes

Studies have shown that more than 95% of the individuals who live in the United States that have diabetes also have some form of periodontal disease or loss of teeth.

If you’re someone that suffers from diabetes, you are more likely to contract certain infections. Diabetes can also directly impact a person’s ability to control their levels of blood sugar.

5. Risk of Cancer

Many experts have researched the subject of individuals with periodontal disease and their risk of being diagnosed with cancer.

As it turns out, men who suffer from gum disease are almost 50% more likely to be diagnosed with kidney cancer or cancer of the pancreas. They’re also 30% more likely to be diagnosed with cancer within the blood. That’s a great reason to practice good dental hygiene.

Other Serious Issues

If the previous problems didn’t seem bad enough, there are many other diseases and conditions that could occur if you have poor dental hygiene.

  • Infertility problems
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • Risk of premature birth

And many, many more…

Dental Problems Related to Poor Oral Hygiene

The physical impacts of poor oral hygiene are many, but so too are the negative consequences you can experience in your mouth.

Plaque buildup and loss of teeth are just the beginning for people that don’t practice good oral health. You can also experience mouth sores, gingivitis, and halitosis. Periodontal disease is also a distinct possibility if you don’t take care of your teeth and gums.

Teeth Cleaning Tips

Here’s a few highly effective tips to help you keep your teeth in tip-top shape.

  • Change your toothbrush every two months. This helps minimize the amount of bacteria on the brush and therefore minimizes how much bacteria you transfer back into your mouth.
  • Eat foods that are firm. This helps clean your teeth as you eat. Carrots, apples, and celery are just a few examples of firm, teeth-cleaning foods.
  • Use baking soda. Brushing with baking soda once a week will help whiten your teeth for a better smile.

Conclusion

Poor oral hygiene may not be something that you think about on a regular basis, but it should be. Not taking good care of your teeth and your gums can put you at serious risks for serious diseases and conditions that at times can be potentially fatal.

Take care of your teeth and gums and see your dentist regularly for your scheduled check-ups. Doing so not only leads to a better-looking smile, but it will also help you maintain a better level of overall health.

Dr. Jonathan Everett
Dr. Jonathan Everett received his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Washington and completed his undergraduate studies in biochemistry at Washington State University. During this time, Dr. Everett served as both the President of the American Student Dental Association chapter as well as the Student Council Vice President. As a board-member of DentPAC for the Washington State Dental Association, Dr. Everett fought to maintain the quality of dental care provided in Washington State by working with state legislators and advocating for patient-centered dentistry in Olympia.
Dr. Jonathan Everett
Dr. Jonathan Everett

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