Can Bad Dental Hygiene Cause Acne?

Can Bad Dental Hygiene Cause Acne?

Can Bad Dental Hygiene Cause Acne?

Not taking care of your teeth can have many consequences for your overall health and wellbeing, from the more minor symptoms of having bad breath, to the more serious consequences such as heart disease. But, many people are unaware of the link between poor dental hygiene and poor skin.

Acne is a skin condition characterised by red, oily skin and spots covering the face, back and sometimes the chest, and there are many different potential causes of acne. So if you have tried many different ways to get rid of your acne and clear your skin, but you’ve noticed that your oral health is substandard, this may be the factor that’s causing your skin condition.

Let’s look at how bad dental hygiene can cause skin flare-ups and acne, and what you can do to prevent it.

Dental Hygiene and Skin Conditions

Dental Hygiene and Skin Conditions

Serious dental problems like untreated infections can cause devastating health conditions due to the proximity of the infection to the glands in your throat as well as the blood vessels reaching your brain and heart, so if you have a sign of an infection, you should visit a dentist as soon as possible.

However, the location of our mouths is also the issue when discussing oral hygiene and facial skin conditions. When we don’t keep our teeth clean, bacteria thrive in our mouths as it’s a warm and wet environment that is ideal for bacteria to duplicate and spread. This bacteria can then spread onto our skin, causing irritation and infecting our pores. If you have spots concentrated around your mouth that won’t go despite other remedies to clear your skin, your dental health could well be the issue.

Even if you brush your teeth, if you don’t visit the dental hygienist regularly for a check-up to clean your teeth of plaque which can build up over time, this plaque can cause cavities and gingivitis, which may spread to your skin and cause spots to form around your mouth and chin.

Can You Reduce Acne by Brushing Your Teeth?

Brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing and using mouthwash is the best way to keep your teeth free from bacteria and prevent the buildup of plaque. Keeping your mouth clean will also help reduce the amount of bacteria that can be transferred onto your skin, so to reduce acne, you should maintain good dental hygiene.

However, you’ve probably noticed that over time, small spots of toothpaste appear on your bathroom mirror or around your sink, as you accidentally splash the contents of your mouth on the items around you. So, imagine how much is ending up on the skin on your face, particularly around your mouth. That doesn’t mean that brushing your teeth is bad for your skin, but if you have acne or are prone to outbreaks, you should gently wash your face after you brush your teeth to remove any bacteria and blobs of toothpaste that have settled on your skin and will infect your pores.

Acne is rarely an issue of cleanliness, although its effect is to cause oily skin, so it may be tempting to repeatedly wash your face. But washing your face more often than twice each day, especially with perfumed soaps or face scrubs can irritate your skin further, worsening the issue.

Furthermore, a common myth, especially among teenagers, is that putting toothpaste directly on your face when you have acne will help dry and clear your skin. However, this is just that: a myth. The ingredients inside toothpaste are antibacterial to clean your teeth, but they can be harmful to your skin, so stick to brushing, not washing with it.

Other Potential Causes of Acne

Other Potential Causes of Acne

While bad dental hygiene may be the cause of your acne, especially if it’s concentrated around your mouth and chin, there are plenty of other possible causes, so don’t be disheartened if seeing a dental hygienist regularly isn’t helping your skin clear up.

Some causes of acne include:

  • Hormone changes, including increased testosterone levels during puberty
  • Genes
  • Poor diet
  • Smoking
  • Some cosmetic products

The sebaceous glands in your skin produce oil to allow hair to grow out of hair follicles without becoming ingrown and keep the skin from becoming dry. However, these glands are very sensitive to hormone changes which is why children will often experience acne breakouts during puberty as there are many hormonal changes taking place within their bodies.

Similarly, women are more likely to experience acne in adulthood than men, as their menstrual cycle, pregnancy and the menopause can all cause significant changes in hormone levels that cause the sebaceous glands to produce more oil in the skin. Women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) can also experience acne.

Good Dental Hygiene Practices

Good Dental Hygiene Practices

Most of us know we should brush our teeth once in the morning and once before bed, but did you know you should brush your teeth before you eat or drink anything in the morning? Many breakfast items are full of sugars and acids that can harm our teeth, but they also feed the bacteria that are in our mouths, causing them to multiply!

Although brushing your teeth before bed will remove much of the bacteria in your mouth, it’s not always easy to get rid of all of it – and what gets left behind will enjoy the excellent breeding conditions of your mouth and multiply while you sleep.

So, for great dental hygiene, brush your teeth as soon as you get up in the morning to remove as many leftover bacteria in your mouth as possible so you can drink your coffee and eat your breakfast, ensuring you’re just feeding yourself and not the bacteria in your mouth as well.

Flossing between each of your teeth is a must as well as brushing, as toothbrush bristles can’t always reach into the gaps between your pearly whites. Dental floss can easily slip between your teeth and prevent the buildup of plaque which eats away at your teeth, causing cavities and gum disease. And finally, mouthwash helps kill the rest of the bacteria in your mouth that may reside on your tongue, the roof of your mouth and the back of your throat – the places you don’t reach with your toothbrush or floss – so make sure you rinse well with mouthwash each day too.

When to See a Dental Hygienist

When to See a Dental Hygienist

The importance of seeing a dental hygienist is often overlooked as they don’t have to go to dental school so they don’t perform major dental procedures. But their role is as important as the dentists since prevention is always better than cure.

A dental hygienist can:

  • Perform check-ups
  • Advise on dental hygiene best practices
  • Clean plaque from your teeth

You should be maintaining good oral hygiene yourself, however, it’s strongly advised to make a dental hygiene appointment at least twice a year, to make sure your teeth are healthy and have any plaque removed that builds up in hard-to-reach places.

Is it Better to See a Private or NHS Dentist?

Both private and NHS dentists have the same education and perform dental treatments to the same standard. However, as dental treatment isn’t free on the NHS after the age of 18 for most people, it can be advantageous to visit a private dentist to have more flexible appointment times as well as access to more services.

Cosmetic dentistry such as teeth whitening is not available on the NHS, and can have many benefits to your dental health and your mental health. So, for consistency in your treatment, appointment times that suit you and medical practitioners who aren’t overworked and underfunded, visiting a private dental practice is your best option.

Book your Dental Hygiene Appointment Today!

Don’t suffer with poor skin or poor dental hygiene any longer. Book your appointment with a dental hygienist today, in Manchester’s best 24-hour private dental clinic, Didsbury Dental Practice.

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