We don’t realize how important good dental hygiene can be to our health. Ensuring that your mouth is clean means that you will avoid bad breath, gum disease and tooth decay. But it does much more than that. Do you know that keeping a healthy mouth can help you avoid more serious health problems too? Let’s learn more.
What is Good Dental Hygiene?
Before we discuss how good dental hygiene can help us, let us first find out what it is.
Dental hygiene is the process of keeping your mouth, gums and teeth clean and healthy. Your teeth should be free of debris and clean, your gums should be pink and not hurt or bleed when you floss or brush, and you don’t have a problem with bad breath.
If you have bleeding gums, pain in your gums or have bad breath, then it’s time to visit the dentist. Any of these problems could indicate for serious issues.
How Do You Maintain Good Dental Hygiene?
Here are the steps you need to take to maintain good dental hygiene:
- Brushing your teeth thoroughly two times a day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
- Flossing after brushing to get out the debris between your teeth.
- Eating a well-balanced and healthy diet.
- Avoiding snacking between meals.
- Use mouthwash that contains fluoride for added protection.
- Avoid sweetened drinks (or at least reduce your consumption of such drinks).
- Drink lots of fluoridated water to wash away sugars and acids from your mouth.
- Get your teeth cleaned professionally regularly since plaque is not completely eradicated by brushing.
Oral Diseases Caused by Poor Hygiene
If you don’t take care of your mouth, you could end up with oral diseases such as:
When you don’t clean your mouth properly, it becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. There are, in fact, more than 300 different types of bacteria that live in our mouths. Many of these bacteria can cause infections that lead to tooth decay. Tooth decay is an infection disease that can spread to other teeth in your mouth. If it isn’t treated on time, you could end up with cavities at the best, and actually lose your teeth at the worst.
This is an infection of the gum where the bacteria destroy the tissues of the gums and bone. As the disease progresses, your teeth become loose, and chewing becomes difficult and painful. Severe periodontal disease can lead to the loss of your teeth and severe health problems.
This is the first stage of periodontal disease, where your gums become inflamed. Some of the first signs of this disorder are bleeding gums.
If you think that poor dental hygiene only causes problems in your mouth, you are very much mistaken. Poor dental hygiene can lead to or contribute to more serious health conditions such as:
When bacteria spreads from your mouth to the other parts of your body via the blood stream, you can end up getting heart disease. These bacteria attach themselves to damaged parts of your heart (especially if you have artificial valves in your heart), leading to cardiovascular disease.
This is heart disease where the inner lining of heart gets infected.
Atherosclerosis and Stroke
Atherosclerosis, which is the technical term for clogged arteries, and strokes have been directly linked to oral bacterial infections.
Low Birth Weight
Oral infections can cause your baby to be born with low birth weight.
If you have a bacterial infection caused by poor dental hygiene and are pregnant, your baby could end up being born premature.