The American Dental Association, along with your dentist in St. Louis, recommends brushing your teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day, every day. However, many people don’t brush their teeth as often as they should. This can increase the risk of developing some serious oral problems.
The most common oral health problem that can happen when you don’t brush your teeth regularly is cavities. Cavities occur when the bacteria in your mouth feed on food debris and release acid. This acid can wear down tooth enamel and decay teeth. The result? A brand new cavity. If treated by your dentist in St. Louis quickly, a cavity is often an easy fix. However, if the cavity becomes too large and affects the inner workings of the tooth, you may need a root canal or additional treatment.
2. Bad Breath
Another likely side effect of not brushing your teeth is bad breath. The same bacteria that cause cavities can also carry a pretty pungent smell, and the more bacteria there are, the worse the smell. One of the best ways to avoid bad breath is to brush your teeth twice a day.
3. Gum Disease
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is an infection of the gum tissues. It’s often caused by poor oral hygiene habits, such as not brushing your teeth or flossing as often as you should. When you don’t brush regularly, plaque builds up on teeth, can harden into tartar, and provide a nice environment for bacteria to thrive. These bacteria can work their way into your gums and cause an infection. Gum disease can be treated if caught early, but if it’s left alone too long it can contribute to other health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
4. Tooth Loss
Untreated gum disease is scary enough since it can lead to other problems throughout the body. However, to make matters worse, gum disease can also lead to tooth loss. Losing natural, adult teeth can mean even more oral health and overall health problems. A jaw bone can deteriorate, chewing power becomes limited, and self-confidence lowers. Thankfully, there are ways to replace teeth such as dentures, dental implants, or even implant-retained dentures.
We understand that it can be easy to skip brushing your teeth, especially if you’re running late in the morning or are extremely tired at night. However, we always recommend doing everything you can to get a thorough brush in both morning and night. Additionally, we encourage you to see your dentist in St. Louis every six months for regular checkups and cleanings.