WHY IS CLEANING BETWEEN YOUR TEETH SO IMPORTANT?
1. Helps prevent tooth loss
Plaque collects between the teeth where toothbrushes can’t reach. If not cleaned away, the millions of bacteria in plaque can cause the gum to become inflamed (gingivitis). Sometimes you notice bleeding when your gums are inflamed, often when you brush. In some people, the inflammation continues and begins to destroy the bone that holds the teeth in. Deep pockets develop around the teeth. These pockets collect more plaque and the process continues (periodontitis). If left, teeth may become loose and/or require extraction.
- Gums become inflamed (gingivitis).
- Gums can detach from the tooth and small pockets develop that allow bacteria to build up.
- The bone that forms the tooth socket recedes and teeth can become loose, leading to tooth loss (periodontitis).
2. Reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke
Research has shown that where periodontal disease is present, bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause changes in blood vessels in other parts of the body. This leads to increased risk of heart disease and stroke.
Research is ongoing but links have also been made between periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s, rheumatoid arthritis and chronic kidney disease.
3. Reduces risk of diabetes
The presence of gum disease raises blood glucose levels which increases the risk of developing diabetes. This also means that already diagnosed diabetics with periodontitis can find it harder to control their blood sugars. This increases their risk of complications in the heart and kidneys. Diabetics are also more likely to develop periodontitis, so these two diseases exacerbate each other.