US

What happens if you stopped brushing your teeth

Nearly half of Americans don’t brush their teeth enough. This opens the door for a bacteria invasion, leading to tooth decay and gum disease. Even worse, you might increase your risk for issues like kidney disease and dementia. The following is a transcript of the video.

Meet Streptococcus mutans. He’s a bacterium and…a bit of a slob. But this isn’t just any mess. It’s what’s on your teeth! You see, “Strep” and all his roommates live inside your mouth, feeding off the sugar and protein in your food. When they’re done they excrete a slimy substance all over your pearly whites.

The end result is a bacteria-ridden pigsty, called biofilm. Now a little biofilm isn’t going to hurt you. It’s only when you stop brushing it away that things can get ugly. And not only for your teeth. It just so happens that “Strep” and his friends are a downright threat to your life.

Nearly half of Americans don’t brush their teeth enough. And when food builds up in those nooks and crannies, you’re inviting a host of bacteria to the party – including your gum line. The perfect place for bacteria to camp out in even greater numbers! Which irritate and inflame your gums, causing tenderness and bleeding.

But that’s just the start! Soon enough, that infection will trigger your immune system. Which sends fighter cells to battle the bacteria. This creates a hostile environment for the bacteria, which is what you want. But it can also damage the cells in nearby tissue and bone.

6 months to years later, that tissue and bone will eventually die. At this point, you don’t have gingivitis anymore. You have something much worse: periodontal disease. No more tissue and bone means no structural support. So, your gums separate from your teeth forming pockets that quickly become extra space for “Strep” and his friends. Which further infects your gums, causing your teeth to fall out.

Now, you may think this could never happen to you but about 10% of Americans between ages 50-64 have lost not just one or two, but ALL of their teeth! And to make matters worse, “Strep” and his buddies may enter your bloodstream, where they will wreak havoc on your organs, too.

For example, in one study, people with periodontal disease were 4.5 times more likely to have chronic kidney disease than people with healthy gums. And another study found that people in a retirement community who didn’t brush their teeth daily, had up to a 65% greater risk of dementia. Last but not least, there’s the increased risk of developing certain cancers:

To be fair, these risks can also be the result of poor hygiene in general, but the message remains clear: Brush. Your. Teeth. It’s worth the extra 4 minutes a day.

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