Regular Teeth Brushing May Prevent Serious Illness

Some individuals get lazy about oral hygiene and don't bother to brush their teeth two or three times per day as recommended. Maybe they figure brushing before bedtime is pointless and that brushing after waking up does the job for the entire 24 hours. Some people confess to not even brushing every day. If you've become lax about brushing your teeth, understand that more serious complications can develop in addition to tooth decay and gum disease.

Percentage of People Who Avoid Brushing

A survey conducted by insurer Delta Dental in 2014 uncovered some disturbing information about the brushing practices of U.S. adults. Some 30 percent don't brush their teeth at least twice every day. In addition, 23 percent reported going at least two days without brushing at all in the past year. 

Possible Consequences of Poor Oral Hygiene

Cardiovascular Disease

Not brushing teeth regularly leads to the buildup of hard tartar, which is irritating to the gums. Gums develop inflammation in response to this substance, and that inflammation can affect the entire body. The American Academy of Periodontology notes that several studies indicate a connection between gum disease and heart disease. Inflammation from gum disease may be responsible. 

Other research has shown a connection between gum disease and strokes. 


Poor oral hygiene and tooth loss is connected with a higher risk of dementia, according to a study of senior citizens published in 2012. The findings were particularly dramatic for men who had lost more than half of their teeth; they were found to have a 91-percent higher risk of dementia. Seniors who did not brush their teeth at least daily also were at greater risk of dementia than those who brushed frequently.

Kidney Disease

Research published in 2008 found that gum disease and tooth loss because of this disorder are significantly connected with chronic kidney disease. In fact, people with the oral health problems were twice as likely to have chronic kidney disease, even after taking into account other factors such as health behavior and socioeconomic status.

Concluding Thoughts

If you tend to skip the nighttime brushing and avoid brushing altogether on some days, it's time to rethink that habit and make some positive changes. At a minimum, brush soon after you wake up and just before going to bed. You not only will reduce your risk of tooth decay and gum disease, you may decrease your risk of serious illness. For more information, visit a local dentist like Silverado Family Dental today.