Long-Term Effects of Poor Dental Hygiene
Every second, millions of subtle yet complex processes take place in our bodies, affecting each other in the most different ways. Likewise, there’s a strong connection between healthy gum, healthy teeth, and a healthy body. Poor dental hygiene, on the other hand, can cause many oral health problems, paving the way for some other serious health conditions, as we’re about to see.
Poor Dental Hygiene Leads to Poor Dental Health
Inconsistent dental hygiene routine and reluctance to seek professional help when needed can cause several dental health issues, including cavities, periodontitis, gum disease, oral cancer, and tooth loss. The American Dental Association recommends that you have regular dental appointments because your dentist will be able to determine the presence of other diseases or medical conditions as they can have symptoms in your mouth. Your dentist will also take X-rays and suggest potential changes in our dental hygiene routine if necessary. Some of the most obvious signs that you probably require immediate dental attention are persisting pain or sensitivity to hot and cold foods or drinks, bad breath, swollen or bleeding gums, chipped or broken teeth, loose teeth, receding gums, swelling of the face, dry mouth, pain with chewing, etc.
Still, you shouldn’t wait for the last moment before you decide to go to the dentist. Some dental problems can go entirely unnoticed but if you visit your dentist at least twice a year, they will be more likely to detect a problem in the early stages and solve it. Nowadays, there are many dental treatments, some of which are 100% preventative and painless, that could help you avoid more expensive and complex procedures in the future. These include fluoride treatments, dental sealants, and deep dental cleanings, just to mention a few.
Inadequate Dental Health is Linked With Other Conditions
According to Mayo Clinic, poor dental health can increase the risk for heart disease and diabetes, and cause pregnancy complications in women. Also, bacteria from our oral cavity can enter the bloodstream and cause infective endocarditis (inflammation of the lining of the heart). That’s why the majority of dentists will prescribe oral antibiotics to treat inflammation before they commence any extensive dental procedure, to ensure the bacteria doesn’t move from the patient’s mouth.
Some other studies suggest there’s a link between poor dental health and dementia, stroke, and respiratory diseases. But we shouldn’t neglect the social and psychological consequences of poor dental hygiene and the adverse effects it may have on a person’s appearance and the quality of their everyday interactions either.
There is a significant link between diabetes and oral health because diabetes directly affects the body’s ability to keep bacteria at bay. This means that patients with diabetes are more likely to suffer from oral infections such as gingivitis and periodontitis, thrush, or dry mouth, which in turn can cause sore mouth, ulcers, cavities, and other dental problems. For people with diabetes to avoid further oral health issues and complications, they need to maintain control over their glucose levels and schedule regular dental appointments.
What Are the Prerequisites of Good Dental Health?
One of the biggest challenges in achieving good dental health is related to establishing a consistent dental care routine. This includes brushing twice a day, every day, with the use of fluoride toothpaste, eating a balanced diet deprived of sweetened drinks and sugary foods, as well as flossing at least once a day. We should also drink fluoridated water, avoid cigarettes and other tobacco products, and drink fluoridated water.
Also, the earlier we start with good dental hygiene, the better. The facts about cavity prevalence in children in the US are pretty alarming. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 20% of children aged 5 to 11 years have at least one untreated cavity. Moreover, kids belong to an especially vulnerable group when it comes to oral health, together with pregnant women and older adults. Therefore, the American Pediatric Association suggests that a child should start seeing a pediatric dentist by their first birthday to avoid tooth decay.
Unfortunately, poor dental hygiene has adverse long-term effects on our general health and is linked with many serious health conditions, including oral cancer, diabetes, heart disease, respiratory diseases, and dementia. On the other hand, it can also have a detrimental effect on our social appearance and our psyche, significantly reducing the quality of our everyday life. However, if we establish good dental hygiene at home and have regular appointments with our dentist, we can significantly decrease those risks and live healthier and better lives.
Have you ever thought about the ways poor dental hygiene can affect one’s health? Do you think that we missed something? Share your thoughts in the comments below!