Why Dental Hygiene is Important

Why Dental Hygiene is Important

You may not think much of brushing and flossing your teeth. For you, maybe it is an everyday ritual to brush twice a day and floss once a day. Or perhaps you are a little more lax in your flossing routine and only floss a couple times a week. Maybe you even skip a brushing session from time to time. What is the importance of these behaviors anyway?


Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day are a collective set of behaviors known as dental hygiene. Another aspect of dental hygiene includes visiting your local dental office for a dental exam and professional teeth cleaning every six months. Combined, these behaviors are extremely important to your oral and overall health. 


This is because their main aim is to remove excess plaque from your mouth. Dental plaque is the clear film that accumulates on the surface of your teeth and contains naturally-occurring bacteria. If dental plaque is not regularly removed from the mouth, then it begins to accumulate and bacterial populations increase. When this happens, it can cause serious consequences to your oral and overall health. 


Why Dental Hygiene is Important to Your Oral Health

Bacteria buildup on teeth

Dental hygiene is important to your oral health because it reduces your risk of developing tooth decay and gum disease. When left untreated, both tooth decay and gum disease can have serious implications on your oral health. For starters, they can produce painful or visually unappealing symptoms. Not only that, but more severe cases can result in tooth loss, bone degeneration, and the spread of infection to other parts of the mouth. 

Both of these oral health problems are caused by excess bacteria, either on the tooth enamel or around the gums. In reducing the amount of bacteria in your mouth, dental hygiene reduces the likelihood of developing these issues. It also makes these issues easier to treat if they do happen to develop. In this way, you can think of dental hygiene as a way of preserving your natural teeth, facial structure, and bone mass. 


Why Dental Hygiene is Important to Your Overall Health

While you may not realize this, dental hygiene is also important to your overall health. A lack of dental hygiene leads to an abundance of bacteria in your mouth. Even though bacteria from the mouth do not regularly enter the bloodstream, this can happen in an unhealthy mouth. If bacteria are able to enter the bloodstream, the infection can be transported to various other areas in the body. 

While the specific relationship between poor oral health and the development of certain medical conditions is still being researched, studies have shown there is a possible connection between the two. Currently, research has found that poor oral health can contribute to the following health conditions: 


Doctor listening to a patient's heart

  • Diabetes
  • Endocarditis
  • Pneumonia
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Cardiovascular Disease


Overall, dental hygiene plays an important role not only in preserving your oral health, but preserving your overall health as well. Regular dental hygiene practices control bacterial populations in order to prevent oral health concerns, as well as the spread of infection to other parts of the body. For this reason, it is essential to brush twice a day, floss once a day, and visit your local dental office at least once every six months. 


Dr. Deborah TabbPatients at Bethesda Family Dentistry benefit from the knowledge and experience that only comes from a diverse team. From general dentistry to endodontic, periodontics, and cosmetic dental services, this Bethesda, MD clinic is ready to be the only source you need for all your oral health needs.