Poor oral hygiene can have a serious impact on your overall health. While most people are aware that bad teeth can cause pain and embarrassment, many do not realize that poor oral hygiene can lead to other health issues, such as infections, headaches, and even dementia.
Let’s take a look at how bad teeth can negatively affect your health.
Poor oral hygiene can increase the risk of developing an infection in the mouth or throat. Bacteria from decaying teeth or food particles left in the gums or between the teeth can cause inflammation and infection.
As these bacteria enter the bloodstream through open sores in the gums or infected areas of the mouth, they can spread to other parts of the body, leading to serious illnesses such as endocarditis (infection of heart valves). Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is another symptom of poor oral hygiene caused by bacteria growth on the back of your tongue or between your teeth.
Misaligned teeth are another issue caused by poor oral hygiene. The pressure on your jaw that misaligned teeth create can cause frequent headaches. This pressure on your jaw is known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) and it is a common side effect due to tooth misalignment caused by improper brushing habits or lack of regular dental checkups.
Left untreated, TMJ can be quite painful and may even require surgery in some cases. If you suffer from frequent headaches, it may be because of your teeth.
Recent studies suggest that there is a link between poor oral hygiene and cognitive decline – specifically dementia – in older adults. The research suggests that gum disease increases inflammation in the brain which accelerates cognitive decline and increases one’s risk for dementia later in life. It is believed that when bacteria enter our bloodstream through our mouths and travel to our brains, it causes an inflammatory response which then leads to memory loss over time.
Poor oral hygiene has far-reaching effects on our overall health and should not be taken lightly. From infections to headaches to dementia, bad teeth can have serious repercussions if not properly cared for with regular brushing and flossing as well as visits to a qualified dentist for routine checkups. Taking care of our mouths now will help us avoid potential problems down the road so we can enjoy healthy lives for years to come!
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