6 Consequences Of Poor Oral Hygiene

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Poor oral care causes unpleasant consequences ranging from health to personal appearance. As such, it’s essential to adopt daily habits, such as brushing your teeth twice daily and eating a nutrient-rich diet, to ensure good dental health. Good oral hygiene has several benefits, including boosting your confidence and lowering the risk of health issues such as severe toothache. Unfortunately, 3.5 billion people worldwide have oral diseases, indicating the need for more to be done. These points highlight common consequences of poor oral hygiene and how to prevent or treat them.

  1. Severe tooth decay

Any sign of tooth decay indicates the presence of harmful bacteria in your oral cavity. However, the appearance of your decay may significantly differ from the next person due to the various decay stages. According to dental research, the first stage is demineralization, closely followed by enamel breakdown, dentin decay, pulp damage, and abscess. These five stages determine the severity of your tooth decay and how it must be treated or resolved. The most important thing to note is that any tooth decay stage must be immediately attended to. You increase the risk of excruciating toothache when you fail to see the dentist. Even worse, severe decay often necessitates avoidable extractions, causing you to lose permanent teeth when you could have saved them with prompt dental care. Undoubtedly, poor oral hygiene sets the stage for progressive tooth decay and negatively impacts your overall well-being. 

For this reason, do not ignore cavities even when they aren’t causing pain yet. Some cavities are hidden and can only be seen with a dental mirror. Therefore, booking regular appointments with the dentist is best. This way, early signs of decay can be stopped and treated before things get out of hand.

  1. Gingivitis 

Do you bleed whenever you brush your teeth or floss? That can be a sign of early-stage gingivitis. This oral disease derives its name from the gingiva - the gum around your teeth’s base. Therefore, in layman’s terms, gingivitis is an inflammation of this part of the gum. It is often characterized by swollen, red gums, which may independently resolve if you adopt proper oral hygiene. Plaque and tartar put undue pressure on the gingiva, causing irritation and inflammation. Gingivitis is often overlooked because it does not present pain in the early stages. However, you will feel pain when the disease progresses into a more severe condition called Periodontitis, which will be discussed in detail in the next point. 

Proper oral care can prevent gingivitis and any progression of the disease. Additionally, setting regular dental appointments may help detect this oral condition in the early stages. One important tip to be guided by is being observant when brushing or flossing your teeth. If you use white or other colored toothpaste, look for blood streaks in the lathered paste. Except for red-colored toothpaste, any other shade will indicate blood presence.

Additionally, look for signs of gumline bleeding after flossing or streaks on the used dental floss. Consult the local dentist if you see blood often when you clean your mouth. Health experts also recommend increasing your Vitamin C intake if your gum often bleeds by eating more fruits like kiwis and oranges and vegetables like peppers and kale.

  1. Periodontitis

As mentioned earlier, untreated gingivitis can lead to advanced Periodontitis. With the former, inflammation is restricted to the gum lines only. However, Periodontitis is characterized by gum and bone separation from the teeth, causing bacteria-infested pocket formations at the base of affected teeth. It can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Moreover, severe Periodontitis requires extensive treatment, which explains why you mustn’t ignore gingivitis in the first place. Untreated Periodontitis can predispose you to some systemic problems. According to research, your risk of cardiovascular disease and respiratory infections is higher when this condition is untreated. Therefore, avoid waiting until the last minute before taking dental health decisions, as it might cost you more money. Fortunately, you can live an improved quality of life by being proactive rather than reactive to health situations.

  1. Discolored teeth that negatively impact your smile

Tannin is an organic compound with some antioxidant properties. They can also be used as a dye for fabric. So, what has tannin got to do with your smile? Drinking coffee, tea, and wine very often could stain your teeth. These drinks contain high doses of tannin that put your pearly whites at risk. Many online articles connect stained teeth to excessive coffee, tea, and wine consumption. Therefore, it may be time to take certain measures if you fall into this category. 

Another reason for stained teeth is nicotine which is found in tobacco products. Research Gate data shows that 28% of smokers notice mild teeth discoloration in the first year of daily nicotine exposure. Professional cleaning can be one of many solutions to resolve discolored dentition. Reducing excessive coffee, tea, and wine consumption is also good. Smokers are also advised to decrease or stop the habit with professional rehabilitation. However, a cosmetic dentist would be needed in severe cases of stained teeth, so keep this in mind.

  1. Halitosis or bad breath

Bad breath can be extremely embarrassing for all parties and can be prevented with good oral hygiene. According to science, poor oral hygiene creates the perfect breeding ground for compound-releasing bacteria. You often perceive this unpleasant-smelling compound as bad breath or halitosis. However, it’s worth noting that the slightly bad breath you experience when you wake up in the morning may not necessarily be the same as halitosis. Saliva production decreases when you sleep at night, causing a temporal dry mouth. Therefore, the lack of oral lubrication leads to that early morning breath which should disappear after brushing with fluoride toothpaste. However, persistent foul-smelling breath indicates the presence of an underlying oral condition. Some medical conditions like chronic acid reflux and diabetes can cause halitosis; however, poor oral hygiene tops the list of causes.

Mint gum can only mask the odor for as long as you chew, but when you’re done, the bad breath returns. The solution is to adopt good oral hygiene habits and commit to them. It would help to also book a dental appointment to rule out any other hidden problems.

  1. Lower self-esteem

People are naturally drawn to confidence and a good appearance. One way to achieve that appeal is through your smile. Many people with visible dental issues are guarded about their smiles, which can cause confidence and self-esteem issues. For instance, if you have missing or discolored teeth or deal with halitosis, you will likely avoid social interactions to prevent others from seeing your teeth. This situation could eventually significantly impact your self-esteem. However, prioritizing your oral health will help give you a more confident and vibrant smile and boost your self-esteem during interactions. Thanks to technology and scientific advancement, helpful solutions like dental implants, dentures, veneers, crowns, and cosmetic fillings exist and are available to explore, depending on your dentist’s recommendation. A cosmetic dentist will determine which treatment option is ideal for your case. You can enjoy smiling again when the missing tooth is replaced, or the discolored set is cleaned.

There are many negative effects of poor oral hygiene that transcend appearance issues. Therefore, avoid ignoring or overlooking urgent dental care even when you don’t feel any pain. It’s best to be more intentional about your oral health, even if it means taking little consistent steps each day. This way, you can reduce the likelihood of experiencing the abovementioned consequences.

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