Your teeth are one of the most important parts of your body. There are many things you can live without, but teeth aren’t one of them. Without your pearly whites, you can’t grin, your speech is barely decipherable, and more importantly, chewing is impossible.
For this reason, it is critical to follow dentist recommendations by flossing daily, brushing twice a day, and visiting a dentist every six months.
But not everyone takes the time to obey these preventive dental golden rules. In fact, almost 20% of Americans admit to never flossing, and only about half of them do so on a daily basis.
The problem with this is that it leads to a build up of plaque and tartar, which could result in periodontal disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss. And almost three quarters of Americans suffer from a form of gum disease.
You may think that you can always invest in cosmetic dentistry to help fix your teeth. But crowns and bridges, teeth whitening and bonding, veneers, and dentures are costly, and they do not necessarily prevent further teeth problems.
Here are some of the dangers of poor dental habits:
Heart Problems. Believe it or not, the quality of your teeth could affect your heart. Periodontal disease inflames the gums and tissue surrounding the teeth, and is caused by bacteria that grows on the surface of teeth and within the gum line. This bacteria could enter the bloodstream, causing inflammation within blood vessels by adhering to fatty plaque within the vessel. Subsequently, this worsens the inflammation, possibly leading to a stroke or heart attack. In addition, the bacteria can spark endocarditis, an infection of the heart’s lining.
Premature Birth. Studies show that periodontal disease can also trigger a premature delivery in pregnant women. The bacteria from the gums could potentially cross through the placenta, putting a baby at risk for premature birth. In addition, this disease often triggers increased fluids in the body, which could force a pregnant woman into labor. This is something even cosmetic dentistry may not be able to prevent.
Severe Pain. Once your teeth begin to decay, they don’t just affect your gums, or your jawbone. Sensitivity and discomfort will often lead to further pain in your head and neck. Teeth problems can cause severe headaches and blinding pain in your ears, and can also make it hard to chew or talk.
So, even though cosmetic dentistry is always a possibility, don’t think you can get away with your detrimental oral hygiene habits for long. Periodontal bacteria will catch up with you one way or another.