From a very young age, you’ve been told that you have to brush your teeth if you want to keep them. Many of you might have thought this was a scare tactic to force a habit. But it’s not a scam: Brushing your teeth is important.
In fact, it could save your life. There are many scary things that can happen to you if you don’t perform proper oral hygiene.
You’d experience gum recession.
Brushing your teeth properly protects the gums as well as your teeth. Over time, unbrushed gums can corrode and deteriorate, pulling away from your teeth. It can cause sensitivity, pain, and more tooth decay than normal. To correct this issue, you’ll need special periodontal care.
You might get gum disease or gingivitis.
Gum recession is usually a symptom of a more serious issue like gum disease or gingivitis. These are considered silent diseases because you can’t always see them. It’s not until you start to lose the gums that you know you need help.
At first, you’ll notice the initial symptoms like red and swollen gums, bleeding, receding gums, and even persistent bad breath. As the condition advances, your gum line will recede, and your teeth will become loose. You might also get abscesses and infected pockets on the gums.
Your breath would stink all the time.
Morning breath would become your everyday reality, although it would be much worse than the breath you wake up with. That can usually be cured with a stick of gum or a mint if you forget to brush your teeth, but the persistent bad breath of not brushing your teeth can’t be alleviated so easily.
This form of halitosis would be the product of food and plaque buildup on your teeth. It would probably come from gum disease or another oral problem. Starting to brush your teeth again likely wouldn’t be enough to fully correct the problem either, and you’d need intense dental treatment to correct things.
You could contract a serious health problem.
Oral health is connected to so many systems in your body, and failing to care for oral tissues could lead to several significant health problems including:
- Heart disease
- Type II diabetes
- Kidney disease
- Brain abscess
- Erectile dysfunction
These are the top health concerns you could contract due to poor proper oral hygiene, but it’s not limited to this list.
You could develop oral cancer.
“Recent evidence suggests that the extent and severity of periodontal disease and tooth loss may be associated with an increased risk of malignant disease,” concluded one researcher from a 2010 study published in the scholarly journal Dental Update.
Oral cancer is among the most aggressive forms of cancer, but it can be treated if it’s caught early on. It’s important to pay attention to your oral health and report any irregular findings to your dentist or primary healthcare provider. Brushing your teeth and getting your 6-month dental checkups like clockwork are the best forms or preventative medicine.
It could kill you.
Besides the risks of serious deadly health problems and oral cancers, you could also die from cavities. Failing to brush your teeth is the fastest way to get cavities. This tooth decay will continue eating down your teeth, causing severe pain and making it nearly impossible to eat. If this tooth decay is left unchecked, it can eat its way down to the bone and into the blood stream.
It will start as a tooth infection that will require antibiotics. Without rapid treatment, it could get into your blood, causing a systemic infection. At this point, you’ll need to be hospitalized to get intravenous antibiotics and prevent the infection from spreading further. But systemic infections can go south in a matter of minutes, and if you don’t get treatment quickly, you could die.
Between the years of 2000 and 2008, the American Dental Association found 61,000 cases in which American patients were hospitalized for tooth infections. Of that number, 66 died. Don’t ignore that toothache, and always brush your teeth!