Remember many years ago, when your mum told a 5-year-old version of you to brush your teeth or the tooth demon will jump out of the cupboard? You should have listened to her. The tooth demon is coming – in the form of various dental problems.
Perhaps it is no laughing matter, but it is funny how a dirty mouth can be the cause of almost every dental condition there is. From tooth decay to periodontitis, poor dental hygiene is set out to ruin your life.
Where it all starts: bacteria
According to the National British Dental Foundation, one in four people brush their teeth once a day at most. That is 25% of the population slowly succumbing to the fatal consequences of bacteria in the mouth.
A typical human mouth serves as a host for up to 72 different strains of bacteria. While some are harmless, one type called Streptococcus mutans plays a great role in the formation of tooth decay. The metabolic process caused by this bacterium creates an acidic environment that makes the tooth’s enamel susceptible to decay.
The Chain Reaction: from decay to infected nerve and all else in between
Tooth decay can worsen over time due to lack of intervention. By passively letting it be and not taking the necessary measure, such as seeing a dentist, it can deepen and hurt other parts of the mouth.
One major complication is the inflammation or infection of the tooth nerve. As a result of this damage, the bacteria can multiply and cause bone loss and abscess, a pus-filled pocket at the tooth’s root. In this case, harleystreetdentalclinic.co.uk says a root canal therapy will be necessary.
Gingivitis is a gum condition linked with a type of bacteria called Porphyromonas gingivalis. If left unattended, it can advance into periodontitis, a much more severe gum disease affecting the alveolar and the surrounding tissues. If it progresses, it may lead to tooth loss.
All the diseases mentioned not only alter the structure of the mouth, they can also be very painful and can interfere with everyday tasks. The good news is proper oral care is enough to prevent them. Religious brushing, flossing and mouthwash can significantly eliminate harmful bacteria and stop them from breeding in your mouth. So before you forgo the usual night-time brush, remember: two good brushes a day keep the tooth demon away.