What Is The Result Of Neglected Oral Hygiene?
Dr. Punyatoya Sahoo
Kundalahalli, Bengaluru Jan 9, 2019
Smiling is the best way to turn your mood around right? So why hide that beautiful smile? If the reason behind it is a dental problem then you should know that neglecting it can further add problems to your life.
Poor oral health and hygiene not just affects your teeth but it can have implications for your overall health. The oral bacteria that attack your teeth and gums can invade the bone structure supporting your teeth which results in developing inflammation. Studies suggest that this inflammation can affect your blood vessels and lessen blood flow to your heart and other parts of your body. Also, the invading bacteria can form a plaque in your blood vessels leading to chronic heart disease.
Therefore, oral hygiene should never be neglected.
Result of Neglected Oral Hygiene
Plaque is formed when foods containing carbohydrates such as sugar, milk, carbonated drinks, raisins, or cakes are regularly left on the teeth. Bacteria in the mouth thrive on these foods, producing acids as a result. These acids are harmful and strong enough to destroy the tooth enamel. Therefore, repeated attacks on the teeth by the acids result in a cavity (or hole) on the tooth surface and inflammations of the gums making it difficult to enjoy your favourite meal.
Science suggests that regular brushing and flossing can save us from this problem.
Gingivitis is an inflammation of the gums. It is the initial stage of gum disease which can be treated easily. But if left unchecked it can cause healthy gums to become swollen and bleed.
Gums are attached to the teeth at a point called sulcus which is not visible normally. Sometimes food and plaque get entrapped in this space leading to infection and this is the major cause of gingivitis.
Here's how plaque can lead to gingivitis:
Plaque on your teeth
Plaque is a thin invisible film of bacteria that cannot be seen with our naked eyes. It is formed when sugars in food interact with oral bacteria.
Plaque turns into tartar
If you ignore it then it hardens and becomes tartar and starts infecting the oral space. Tartar is further difficult to remove because it creates a shield for bacteria and causes more irritation along the gum-line.
Development of gingivitis
The longer the plaque and tartar remain, the more they irritate the gingiva causing it to inflame resulting in gingivitis.
A cavity is basically decaying of the tooth. Tooth decay is influenced by our oral hygiene levels, foods consumed and our everyday lifestyle. Heredity also plays a role in how susceptible you are to tooth decay.
Depending on the region it is formed, there are three types of cavities:
- Coronal cavities- formed on the chewing surfaces or between teeth.
- Root cavities- with age, gums recede leaving some parts of the tooth exposed making them susceptible to cavities.
- Recurrent cavities- they form around existing fillings and crowns because of their tendency to accumulate plaque which leads to tooth decay.
Cavities are more common among children but adults are also at risk, depending on their oral hygiene levels. Only your dentist can tell for sure if it is a cavity because they develop below the tooth surface. The bacteria consume the sugars and secrete acids that destroy the tooth as they eat into it. As the enamel is eaten away, after a while, the cavity is formed.
Toothaches, pain while chewing and sensitivity to certain foods are symptoms of cavities.
4. Tooth mobility
Tooth mobility is a medical term to describe loose teeth. The teeth are attached to the jaws or alveolar bone and normally have minor mobility. This small mobility is healthy as it prevents breaking of teeth due to sudden shocks/trauma or lack of oral hygiene. But in some cases, the teeth become too loose and cause inconveniences and problems.