There are many reasons why people sometimes fail to maintain good oral hygiene, one of which is pure laziness. It’s so easy to go to bed or even go to work without bothering to go through the brushing and flossing routine. A lot of people may think chewing a bit of gum is sufficient to keep the mouth smelling fresh. But have you ever thought about the impact of oral hygiene on health?

When you are young failing to clean the teeth regularly won’t impact too much on the colour of your teeth until you begin to age. However, it’s not just the colour of your teeth and how fresh your breath smells. There are other reasons why maintaining good oral health hygiene is important.

The presence of bacteria and oral hygiene

You may not realise this, but your mouth harbours damaging bacteria. Especially when plaque and its hardened form tartar cling to your teeth and allow bacteria to thrive.

Eventually, if not removed, the enamel on the surface of your teeth becomes damaged and cavities start to form. These could lead to more serious afflictions like painful tooth abscesses. Which is when bacteria finds its way into the root of the tooth and causes a painful infection.

These sorts of oral health problems can be stopped in their tracks easily. Not only by keeping to a good flossing and brushing routine but by regular visits to your dentist. Your dentist will thoroughly clean your teeth and eliminate plaque and tartar build-up. At the same time, any sign of cavity formation can be repaired by cleaning out the bacteria and filling the tooth.

The bad side of poor oral hygiene and general health outcomes

Unfortunately, if you neglect your oral hygiene, more sinister things could happen to your health. Periodontal disease caused by bacteria could enter your bloodstream through your bleeding gums. It has been discovered that this could cause heart disease as the bacteria enter the bloodstream and travels through the blood vessels to the heart, possibly initiating a heart attack.

Endocarditis is another possible outcome of poor dental hygiene. This is when bacteria find their way to the heart’s inner lining and its valves. This could cause growth in bacteria in pockets, which could cause infection and inflammation of the heart’s inner linings. A stroke is caused by a narrowing of the walls of the artery. It has been suggested that as the body reacts to the presence of bacteria which has entered the blood stream via the mouth that it assists with the narrowing of the arteries. There are other conditions that are made worse by the presence of bacteria that have formed in the mouth. These include: rheumatoid arthritis, the lung condition called chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pneumonia. As you can see the impact of oral hygiene on health is far reaching.

The best 3 ways to maintain good oral hygiene are:

  • brushing at least twice a day with a soft bristled tooth brush;
  • flossing your teeth with the same frequency as brushing;
  • seeing your dentist at least twice a year or more if you notice you have a problem worth treating.

Put the above words into action and you will have done the best you can do to keep your teeth and overall body healthy.