Posted: December 15, 2010
No doubt your dentist has explained the importance of flossing, brushing, and rinsing – the oral good housekeeping that keeps the mouth clean. But there's much more to it than that. In the absence of good hygiene the mouth begins to break down, allowing plaque buildup on the gum line. This creates an acidic environment, encouraging the presence of bacteria and viruses that cause teeth decay. This is why you are encouraged to keep your mouth hygienic to maintain an alkaline environment.
Whatever the cause, if decay and plaque are not controlled, the gums become irritated, then swollen and infected and quick to bleed. Left untreated, they recede, causing the teeth to loosen and weakening the supporting bone. In a worst-case scenario, teeth may even be lost, causing those that remain to become misaligned and affecting the bite. In the meantime, bacteria in the infected gums can enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body, triggering fever, headaches, sore throat, aching joints, and stress on the body's immune system.
While it is important that you visit your dentist for a regular check-up and exam, the health of your mouth depends on your diligence in maintaining constant oral hygiene.