Oral hygiene is important to prevent bad breath and dental diseases and it is an ongoing process. Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly may sound easy but most people do tend to ignore these practices. Good oral hygiene prevents dental plaque, calculus, caries, and gum disease or periodontal diseases all of which indicate the harm that bacteria has caused. The mouth being warm and moist is the perfect breeding place for bacteria and can they easily overwhelm the immune system, which protects the body against bacteria, if oral hygiene is not maintained. Here’s how things can go from bad to worse if oral hygiene is ignored.
Plaque: This plaque buildup is the first sign that your oral hygiene is not up to the mark. The whitish deposit between your teeth forms when bacteria react with the food and saliva.
Calculus: Plaque that has hardened due to calcification is calculus, also called tartar.
Caries: Bacteria from the plaque coverts starch and sugars, to form acids that over a period, makes holes or caries on the tooth enamel.
Gum disease: This happens when the tissues around teeth are infected and inflammation sets in. Depending on the severity, the gum disease is either:
Gingivitis: Simple gingivitis caused by plaque can be controlled by visits to the dentist and oral hygiene but sometimes an underlying illness can be the cause, which has to be investigated.
Periodontitis: The condition when gingivitis worsens to involve the tissues, periodontal membranes as well as the bones, and posing other serious health problems, is periodontitis.
Gum disease can cause you to lose your teeth besides causing bad breath or halitosis. Brushing twice and flossing once a day, eating a healthy diet and regular dental checkup will ensure that your teeth last you a lifetime.