• We are not aware of the consequences of a bad oral hygiene
  • Many diseases are caused by poor oral hygiene
  • How to avoid poor dental health which leads to many diseases

At some point in our life, we all become a little lazy and this comes with consequences. After a long and tiring day, we just don’t feel like brushing our teeth before bed. Even though most of us are aware that poor dental hygiene can lead to tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath, the most important thing that we are not aware of is that poor dental hygiene initiates a lot more dangerous disease such as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, pregnancy problems and many more.

Mouth is one of the dirtiest parts of our body. It is said that there are more bacteria in our mouth than people on earth. However, not all bacteria are bad. In fact, many are necessary for good health. But when it comes to oral hygiene, if bacteria have time to cultivate in the mouth (overnight when you don’t brush your teeth) it can cause some serious diseases as mentioned above.

Some researchers from New York University concluded that there is a link between gum inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease (2010). Later in 2014, UK based researchers from the University of Central Lancashire, compared brain samples from patients suffering from Alzheimer’s with brain samples from people who did not have the disease. The result showed that the bacterium Propyromonas gingivalis was present only in people with Alzheimer’s. This bacterium is associated with a gum disease caused by bad oral hygiene.

Dr.Singharo for Medical News Today explains it like this: “These bacteria can leave the mouth and enter the brain via two main routes. They can use their movement capability to directly enter the brain. One of the paths taken is to crawl up the nerves that connect the brain and the roots of teeth. The other path is indirect entry into the brain via the blood circulation system. The chemicals released by the brain's immune system in response to P. gingivalis reaching the brain 'inadvertently' damage functional neurons in the area of the brain related to memory".

Bad oral health can even cause cardiovascular disease. When bacteria enter the bloodstream from bleeding gums, they can travel to the heart and cause a heart attack.

According to Pamela McClain’s research (President of the American Academy of Periodontology); periodontitis* weakens body’s ability to control blood sugar and as a result our body can’t utilize insulin, which equates to diabetes.

Periodontitis has also been linked to pregnancy and birth. It causes premature birth and low birth weight.

The aforementioned health conditions are only a few of diseases caused by poor oral hygiene and health.  

The best advise is to brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss daily, replaces your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if bristles are frayed, and schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings.

*Periodontitis-a serious gum infection

COPYRIGHT: This article is property of We Speak Science, a nonprofit institution co-founded by Dr. Detina Zalli (Harvard University) and Dr. Argita Zalli (Imperial College London). The article is written by Dardana Xhemaili ( University of Medicine, Faculty of Stomatology , Tirana)