What is the Importance of Teeth Brushing?

Susan Grindstaff

Teeth brushing may be one of the easiest things people can do on their own to help promote overall good health. Teeth brushing helps removed plaque, a thick gummy substance that can eventually lead to disease and tooth loss. Gum disease, gingivitis, and even heart disease can be the result of neglected dental hygiene. In addition, teeth brushing can help reduce tooth decay and tooth loss. From a financial perspective, regular brushing and flossing can sometimes greatly reduce the time spent in a dentist’s chair, which can save a great deal of money over time.

Brushing teeth properly may help prevent cavities.
Brushing teeth properly may help prevent cavities.

Gingivitis is considered to be gum disease in its earliest stages. Early diagnosis and treatment can sometimes prevent it from becoming active gum disease. Teeth brushing may be one of the best ways to keep gingivitis from developing. Simply put, gingivitis is typically caused by dirty teeth. If teeth are not brushed regularly, bacteria builds up on the teeth and spreads to the gum area, frequently causing gingivitis.

A cross section of a tooth.
A cross section of a tooth.

Gingivitis left untreated generally leads to gum disease, and treatment for gum disease is often expensive, invasive, and time consuming. It can affect just a few teeth or all of them. When gum disease is present, pockets of puss form around the root of the tooth and can often cause the root to decay. In these instances, root replacement is usually required to prevent tooth loss. Both gingivitis and gum disease can often be avoided by regular brushing and flossing.

Teeth brushing may help remove plaque.
Teeth brushing may help remove plaque.

Sometimes poor dental hygiene can lead to tooth abscess, which in some cases can be an immediate life-threatening condition. An abscessed tooth can potentially spread to other parts of the body, causing organ damage or even death. Tooth abscesses that spread to the brain can sometimes cause coma and brain damage. In some cases, abscessed teeth can cause permanent damage to heart and heart valves as well. Before penicillin was discovered as a treatment for tooth abscess, many people died from the infection, though today that is generally less common.

One of the best ways to maintain healthy teeth is by practicing good oral hygiene.
One of the best ways to maintain healthy teeth is by practicing good oral hygiene.

From a psychological perspective, teeth brushing may be essential to issues regarding confidence and self-esteem. If teeth are yellowed or dirty, it can cause self-conscious behavior and issues with social situations. In addition, dirty teeth often cause the embarrassment associated with bad breath. Even for those who cannot afford expensive cosmetic dentistry to improve their smile, keeping teeth clean can sometimes go a long way toward improving self-esteem.

From a cosmetic stanpoint, brushing can be an important part of maintaining confidence and self-esteem.
From a cosmetic stanpoint, brushing can be an important part of maintaining confidence and self-esteem.

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