With the outbreak of COVID-19, most of us are stuck inside our homes for the next few weeks. We know that when you’re not regularly going out, it can be easy to become lax on the basic wellness and beauty regimens that make you presentable to the world. However, it’s important to remember that keeping up on basic hygiene practices sustains your health. It also prevents you from passing on anything else to your loved ones in the same household. In other words, when you’re healthy, you give yourself and your loved ones a better chance to fight off any of those nasty viruses that might come your way. Those healthy practices should, of course, include a good oral care regimen.
Today, we thought that we’d give you a little insight into just how dangerous it is to stop taking care of your teeth. Specifically, when you stop brushing your teeth for 30 Full Days. Hang onto your toothpaste, things are about to get gross.
- YOUR TEETH WOULD BE YELLOW. Say goodbye to pearly whites. Why? Well, two of leading causes of yellow teeth are plaque build-up and superficial stains from your food. Both plaque and stains build up without regular brushing, especially if you like that morning cup of coffee. In 30 days, your teeth could get as yellow as your post-it notes and no one wants that.
- CAVITIES. Cavities are primarily caused by bacteria build-up and sugary drinks. Our mouths can host as many as 700 types of bacteria, although most of us host between 34 and 72 at any one time. That number increases exponentially when we let our mouths become a petri dish without the regular cleaning. In other words, particularly if you have a sweet tooth, you will be in for a painful surprise at the end of the month.
- TOOTH LOSS. If you had any untreated pre-existing or developing cavities, you’ll likely be looking at some loose teeth at the end of the month and could even lose a tooth if the decay is bad enough. No, it wouldn’t just be a bad nightmare anymore!
- GUM DISEASE. Most people don’t know this, but your gums shouldn’t bleed when you floss. About 47% of Americans suffer from periodontitis (a fancy word for gum disease). If you allow bacteria build-up over 30 days, it’s a good chance you’ll also be looking at some swollen and bleeding gums. If the damage is bad enough, this can also lead to tooth loss.
- HALITOSIS. In other words, your breath would stink to high h*ll. Gum disease, cavities, and leftover bits of food rotting in your mouth can lead to bad breath. Your doggo might love your breath, but your family probably wouldn’t. Though hey, on the bright side, it would be pretty effective at social distancing.
- ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION. Yes, fellas, bad dental care can literally lead to problems in the bedroom. While the cause is still unknown, there has been a direct causal link found between gum disease and penile function in rats. In a group of men aged between 30 and 40, 53% of men reporting erectile dysfunction had severe gum disease while only 23% of men without erectile dysfunction had gum disease. But don’t worry, with the halitosis, you probably wouldn’t get as far as the bedroom anyway.
- RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS. Now here’s where we get into the really scary stuff. When bacteria accumulates in your mouth, you will eventually breathe it into your lungs. This could lead to a host of respiratory issues including acute bronchitis, pneumonia, and COPD. Especially now, with the Coronavirus going around that impacts the respiratory system, it’s important to be cautious.
- HEART ATTACK AND STROKE. Gum disease has been found to increase a person’s risk of heart disease by 20% and, in some studies, as much as 50%! Heart disease can lead to heart attack and stroke. Why? Well, if you have substantial gum disease and bleeding, oral bacteria can get into the bloodstream and eventually get to the heart, where it has been linked to hardening of the arteries responsible for heart attack and potential stroke if the pathway of blood to the brain is blocked.
- PREGNANCY COMPLICATIONS. If you are trying to get pregnant or are in the late stages of pregnancy, you may find yourself at risk. There is a link between difficulties conceiving and gum disease. If you are a mother-to-be, there’s a link between gum disease and premature birth and low birth weight. Since 60 to 75% of pregnant women already have gingivitis, they are more susceptible to some of the problems associated with gum disease without additional bacterial build-up caused by not brushing.
- YOU’D GET SOMEONE ELSE SICK….potentially really sick. If you have a partner and you two regularly kiss, you could pass bacteria along to them. Typically, our saliva helps protect against bacteria from our partner, but saliva can’t protect against MSRA, a particularly resistant type of staph infection. It is no joke.
OR MAYBE, YOU’D BE FINE. If you had exceptionally healthy teeth, no pre-existing health conditions, stellar genetics, and the right diet you might get through without any serious health ramifications. Though, yes, your breath would still stink. And yes, your teeth would be yellow. And yes, food would just ‘hang around’ (hello popcorn kernel from three days ago!). So, why risk it?
These are just complications that could arise if you don’t brush your teeth for 30 days. However, poor oral hygiene over a longer period of time could lead to more chronic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, infertility, dementia, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, osteoporosis, kidney disease, and even cancer. The lesson here: don’t stop brushing your teeth. Not for 30 days, not even for 1 day.
If this article made you think twice about slacking off on your oral care during the quarantine, stock up with the new RADIUS Oral Health Care Packs that feature a two-month supply of organic and sustainable products for you and the whole family (both human and furry). RADIUS is also offering monthly subscriptions to toothpaste so you never have to worry about running out.