We know that not taking care of your teeth could lead to cavities or a possible toothache. But some studies are suggesting poor oral health can hurt our overall health.
"Overall health encompasses physical, psychological, and social well-being and oral health plays a very important role in all three aspects," said Dr. Tuan Bui an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
While brushing your teeth and flossing regularly isn't a new concept, Bui said neglecting your oral hygiene could lead to more systemic diseases like heart disease or stroke.
"The bacteria that's in the mouth can somehow get into your bloodstream, and when it's in the bloodstream it can cause injury to the inner lining of your vessels leading to a cascade of issues that lead to forming plaques inside your blood vessels," said Bui.
Some effects of poor oral health can even impact your social wellbeing.
"People who end up losing their teeth prematurely or who have periodontal disease of their gums are inflamed and can have bad breath; they tend to be not as outgoing potentially. It can lead to patients being withdrawn from social interaction and potentially could lead to some mild depression or contribute to that," said Bui.
Behind brushing and flossing, doctors say avoiding smoking can help prevent serious diseases of the mouth from an accumulation of plaque and bacteria around the teeth and the gums. It affects the supporting structures of the teeth thereby making the teeth looser which will put you at risk of losing them.
Bui also urges children to have sealants placed on their teeth to help them strengthen as they get older.
Other recommendations for good oral hygiene include visiting your dentist for regular checkups and using toothpaste with fluoride.