While there are many causes of unhealthy teeth, it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint what is causing any issues you may be experiencing.
Poor oral hygiene
Not brushing or flossing your teeth, or using mouthwash can be a cause of unhealthy teeth. Brushing and flossing get rid of any plaque or leftover food debris, so without doing this, plaque builds up.
You should prioritise flossing and brushing your teeth in your daily routine to keep your mouth in top condition.
Eating and drinking sugary items
It can be really difficult to cut out food for the sake of your teeth, so that’s not what we’re suggesting. Instead, try making healthy swaps. Swap sweets and chocolate for hard vegetables and nuts. If you do eat sugary snacks, and we all do, the acid that your mouth produces to break down any bacteria can actually cause cavities and tooth decay. So if you don’t want to cut out sugary foods entirely, just make sure that you brush your teeth after eating or drinking these types of foods.
Saliva is a very helpful tool. It helps clear any food or bacteria which may otherwise be sitting in your mouth. If you have a dry mouth for whatever reason, it could mean that these bacteria or food isn’t being washed out properly and therefore may sit in your mouth and cause infection.
Forgetting to visit your local dentist
The job of a dentist is to check that your teeth are in the best condition that they possibly could be, so one of the worst things you can do to your teeth is not get them checked by a professional dentist. You should be going to the dentist twice a year, or if you sense that there might be a problem, then book another appointment. Your dentist is the best person to advise you on what products you should be using, or what you should be eating. After all, they probably know your mouth better than you do.
Brushing twice a day, for two minutes a day is essential to remove any plaque which may have formed during the day, or overnight. Without this, plaque can very easily build up over a short period of time. Excessive plaque can cause cavities, as the bacteria in plaque produce an acid that can rot the surface of your teeth.
If you’re on certain types of medication or cancer treatment it can affect your saliva production or increase bacteria production. If this is the case, it’s best to speak to your dentist and they will be able to advise you on what products are best to use in this situation.
Why is it important to look after my teeth?
The importance of keeping your mouth clean and healthy goes way further than just your mouth alone. In fact, your mouth keeps a lot of the germs out of your body. This means that if you have sores or cavities within your mouth, it could let a lot of bacteria and germs in. These germs can then enter into your bloodstream from your mouth and bacteria can easily be taken into your lungs and heart. It’s so important to look after your mouth for this reason!
What diseases can be caused by unhealthy teeth?
Any bacteria which enters your mouth can cause diseases, as bacteria can get directly into the bloodstream from there. Unhealthy teeth have been linked to serious health issues like heart disease and stroke, and tooth loss can leave you vulnerable to developing kidney disease.
Looking after your teeth should be a priority
Like looking after any part of your body, your teeth should be a priority too. We often forget how important our teeth actually are, we wouldn’t be able to enjoy our food as much if we didn’t have them, we’d feel more self-conscious when smiling. There are numerous reasons as to why you should be looking after your teeth, and it’s really easy to start taking care of them. Whether you’re going to start flossing or cut out all those fizzy drinks, taking care of your teeth starts at home.
Adam Mulligan did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health and well-being.
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