Since childhood we are educated on the importance of brushing and flossing; we all know by heart at least one jingle, song or rhythm teaching us how to brush. Everyone is aware of the consequence of not doing it correctly, cavities, tartar, bad breath, etc. But, what if we were to tell you that it’s actually a lot worse than that? That this could actually shorten your lifespan? Sounds crazy right? Well, here are some of the least known consequences of not having a good dental hygiene.
Specifically gingivitis and periodontitis; as tartar forms around the teeth, It starts pushing back the gum, and as it does, the tooth is exposed, weakening the root and drastically increasing the chances of an infection; additionally the gum becomes swollen, causing mouth bleeding and increasing blood pressure as extra blood is sent to the mouth, which leads to…
Several longitudinal studies have found empirical evidence that shows that swollen areas increase blood pressure, which in turn, demands more effort from the heart. This doesn’t have immediate side-effects, but in the long it increases the chances of developing or suffering from a heart disease.
Not brushing could lead to dementia
While the link is still unclear, some longitudinal studies have shown a relation between periodontitis and dementia; while the idea may sound crazy, researchers have found that brains of people with Alzheimer have a higher count of gum disease related bacteria than non-Alzheimer brains.
And speaking of bacteria, another small group of studies have found incidental evidence which may link oral diseases with bacterial infections and the development of brain abscesses. At this point, the relation is spurious at best, but it’s theoretically possible, as periodontal diseases increases the odds of bacteria getting into the bloodstream.
This one is an indirect link, but there is still cause for concern, it has been long established that there is a high correlation between gum diseases and HPV; as bacteria gather in the mouth area the immune system kicks in, after a while this weakens the defenses, allowing for opportunistic infections to take hold. This becomes a matter of concern when you take into consideration that HPV accounts for over 80% of mouth cancer diagnosis,
Additionally, some preliminary studies may have found a link between periodontal diseases and cancer cell growth.
In summary, while the jury is still out there, every single research out there has proven in one way or another, that brushing and keeping your mouth clean is a protective factor that enhances your health.