There are a plethora of reasons to brush your teeth. Aside from the obvious, like personal hygiene, a brighter smile, and healthy teeth, there are a number of other hazards to your health that could arise without proper care. Since your mouth is the gateway to your body, it is the easiest way for different bacterias to be introduced into your system through periodontal disease (gum disease) and therefore extremely important for you to maintain its cleanliness. Making sure to take proper care of your mouth can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, respiratory issues, and dementia.
When you fail to take appropriate care of your teeth, you increase your chances for developing periodontal disease, which in turn exposes you to an increased risk for heart disease and strokes. People who contract periodontal disease are at twice the risk for developing heart problems as the result of the plaque and other bacteria in the mouth gaining easy entry into the cardiovascular system, where they begin to narrow and even clot inside arteries. If enough of those bacteria pile into the carotid artery, which carries blood from the heart to the brain, the likelihood of a stroke rapidly increases.
Diabetes can also become a factor in your life if you don’t put in the effort to keep those teeth clean and healthy. Gum disease reduces the ability of the body to process blood sugars, increasing the risk of diabetes. In addition, people who already have diabetes need to take special care of their teeth, since diabetes lowers the capabilities of the immune system and makes it much easier to contract periodontal disease, which then allows more disease in through the gums, which then becomes an increasingly vicious cycle as it progresses.
Another health issue that is associated with periodontal disease is respiratory problems. As the bacteria from your mouth travels down through your gums into your unprotected bloodstream, it can make its way down to your lungs and wreak havoc, especially if conditions such as asthma already exist. Studies have also found a link between bronchitis, pneumonia, and periodontal disease.
Finally, cleaning your teeth every day and visiting your dentist when appropriate can also help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s. As your gums allow in more and more plaque and other bacteria, the infection will worsen and become inflamed. As it inflames, your body releases substances which cause parts of your brain to inflame as well, causing death in the neuronal cells in your brain, increasing your risk for memory loss and early stage Alzheimer’s disease.