What Can Bad Dental Hygiene Lead To

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What Can Bad Dental Hygiene Lead To

Our bodies are complex machines, with each area intrinsically linked to the next via blood vessels and tissue which transport all kinds of molecules around our bodies. So, our teeth aren’t in an isolated place and, while bad dental hygiene will cause many problems in our mouths, it’s wrong to assume that the rest of our body won’t be affected.

But how bad is not brushing our teeth once in a while? Can bad dental hygiene lead to very serious health problems? Let’s take a look.

What is Bad Dental Hygiene?

Dental hygiene refers to how well you look after your teeth and keep your mouth, gums, tongue and tonsils clean. Bacteria live in our mouths naturally and some are harmless, however, if we don’t clean our mouths effectively or regularly, bacteria build up and cause oral health problems.

Bad dental hygiene is not effectively keeping your teeth and gums clean and bacteria-free. There are many symptoms of bad dental hygiene, including:

  • Bad breath
  • Dry mouth
  • Yellow, brown or black teeth
  • Bleeding gums
  • Cavities on teeth
  • Missing or decaying teeth

Of course, if you’ve had an accident and lost a tooth through injury, that’s not a sign of poor oral hygiene. However, if you’ve lost a tooth due to tooth decay, you should improve your dental hygiene right away.

What Can Cause Bad Dental Hygiene?

What Can Cause Bad Dental Hygiene?

There are several reasons why people may experience symptoms of bad dental hygiene, but the two main factors are:

  • Poor dental care
  • Poor diet

Good dental hygiene involves four main actions:

  • Brushing
  • Flossing
  • Rinsing with mouthwash
  • Visiting a dental hygienist

If you’re not doing one of these, or not doing it regularly enough, you may experience the symptoms of bad dental hygiene. But you can also improve your dental health by reducing the amount of sugar you consume as well as stopping smoking.

Let’s look at how these can cause bad dental hygiene.

Oral Care Routines

Brushing your teeth is crucial to disperse the bacteria in your mouth as well as the sugars they feed on from your food. When we eat, food particles get stuck between our teeth and around our mouths; if we don’t effectively remove these food particles by brushing our teeth, the bacteria in our mouths thrive by feeding on the food and reproducing. This can cause a dry mouth and bad breath, as well as cavities to form in our teeth.

Bacteria that aren’t dispersed form a sticky substance on our teeth called plaque. Plaque is usually found between the gaps between our teeth as this area is harder to reach with a toothbrush, which highlights the importance of dental floss. Floss reaches into the gaps, removing the plaque and preventing more from forming. When the plaque stays on our teeth, the bacteria eat away at the tooth, causing cavities to form in the enamel, which leaves the dental pulp underneath vulnerable.

When the bacteria cause the tooth to decay and reach the dental pulp, it can cause inflammation and infections which cause gum disease. Brushing your gums gently as well as rinsing your mouth with mouthwash can help to remove the bacteria from your mouth, helping to prevent cavities, tooth decay and gum disease.

Over time, however, plaque can still form despite all of our best efforts to stop it. That’s why seeing a dental hygienist twice a year is crucial to our dental health. In a dental hygiene appointment, our teeth are cleaned of plaque and any dental health issues can be spotted. The sooner any issues are spotted, the better the chances of a positive outcome and fewer other consequences for our health.



While a good dental hygiene routine is imperative for our health, being careful of what we put in our mouths in the first place can also be a great help. Bacteria thrive on sugar, so the more sugary foods and drinks we have, the quicker we develop cavities. So reducing the amount of sugar we consume is essential for healthier teeth and gums.

Sugary drinks are also some of the worst products for our teeth as the syrupy liquid coats our teeth, covering areas that are harder to keep clean with a toothbrush. You can help reduce the effects of sugary drinks by using a straw to drink them, but it’s also in your best interests to reduce the amount of sugary drinks you have anyway.

Smoking is also one of the worst habits for our dental health, as well as our overall physical health. Cigarettes have been proven to be the cause of many different cancers across the body, but the tar inside can also stick to our teeth, causing them to turn black and decay.

Stopping smoking and changing your diet can be difficult, but there are many useful guides and advice to help live more healthily.

What Problems Can Bad Dental Hygiene Cause?

Bad dental hygiene can lead to many health conditions, some that can be treated, and others that can be life-threatening, so maintaining good dental hygiene is highly important.

Tooth decay may not seem such an important issue in today’s world with so many options for replacing your teeth like dental implants or veneers. However, bad dental hygiene can still have numerous effects on our bodies.

More mild or treatable conditions that bad dental hygiene can lead to include:

  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • Acne

However, there are much more serious conditions that can be caused by failing to maintain good oral hygiene.

When bacteria eat through our teeth, our dental pulp and gums become vulnerable to inflammation and infection. Untreated or numerous infections in our mouths can cause inflammation of the blood vessels, which can cause cardiovascular disease, increasing the risk of having a stroke or heart attack or developing Alzheimer’s disease.

As the mouth is directly connected to the stomach via the oesophagus, harmful bacteria from the mouth can also travel into the digestive system, causing an irritable stomach, irritable bowel, and inflammatory bowel disease. What’s more, there have been links found between bad dental hygiene and mouth cancers, diabetes, and even rheumatoid arthritis.

How to Improve Bad Dental Hygiene Quickly

How to Improve Bad Dental Hygiene Quickly

You may be worrying about your bad breath or mild toothache now you know the potential consequences of having bad dental hygiene. However, there are ways to improve your hygiene and reduce your risks of developing any serious conditions.

Firstly, you should make an appointment with a dental hygienist as soon as possible to have a check-up of your oral health and ensure that any serious issues are treated as soon as possible. The hygienist will also scrape off any excess plaque and advise you on ways to improve your oral hygiene further.

Secondly, you should stop smoking, reduce your sugar intake and make sure you never neglect your dental hygiene. Rushing out of the house without brushing your teeth once in a blue moon isn’t going to make a huge difference to your dental health, but if it becomes a habit, you’ll notice your teeth losing their whiteness as your dental hygiene worsens.

Brush twice a day (including gums and tongue), floss and rinse with mouthwash to ensure the best dental hygiene possible.

Why Choose a Private Dental Practice?

When choosing between an NHS and a private dental practice, there are many reasons why one is more convenient than the other. Unless you receive free dental care on the NHS, there’s not that big a price difference between NHS and private dental care, and the price almost becomes irrelevant anyway when you consider how difficult it is to get an appointment with an NHS dentist than a private dentist.

Plus, with a private dental practice, you’ll have longer appointment times so your dentist or hygienist can give you the attention you deserve, as well as high-quality equipment and an array of services that aren’t available on the NHS.

Book Your Dental Hygiene Appointment Today!

Didsbury Dental Practice is Manchester’s 24-hour dentist, so you can book an appointment at a time that suits you, rather than having to arrange your work or home schedule accordingly.

Book your dental hygiene appointment today, so you can stay on top of your dental health.

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