How Bad Oral Hygiene Can Lead to Oral Cancer

Bad oral hygiene is associated with a variety of problems, including gum disease, tooth loss, bad breath and tooth stains/discolorations. Taking care of your teeth can help make your smile attractive and beautiful to behold, but did you know that poor oral hygiene is strongly associated with oral cancer?

According to a publication in the National Library of Medicine, failure to take good care of your teeth can lead to the conditions that would create oral cancer. If you struggle with your oral hygiene habits, it’s important to know what you can do to protect yourself and your health.

How does bad oral hygiene cause oral cancer?

Poor oral hygiene enhances the potential of carcinogens already in your mouth, like carcinogens from alcohol and tobacco. In addition, when bacteria is allowed to thrive in the mouth, this can change cell growth in the mouth.

There are multiple paths that poor oral hygiene can take to cause cancer in the mouth. If you’re someone who has poor oral hygiene practices, it’s important to follow up with your dentist on a regular basis to check the health and well-being of your mouth. Your dentist will check for cancerous growths as a part of your regular dental checkup, and will let you know if anything is discovered during your appointment.

How can I improve my bad oral hygiene?

Maintaining good oral hygiene is something that most people do over time. If you’re out of the habit of brushing your teeth regularly (or flossing), then establishing new habits can be a challenge.

Set Reminders to Brush Your Teeth

Set reminders in your phone to brush your teeth twice daily. Brushing your teeth in the morning helps freshen your breath and get rid of bacteria that grew in your mouth overnight. Brushing in the evening cleans your mouth before you go to bed helps protect your teeth overnight.

Ask your dentist to show you how to brush your teeth. You may think you already know, but many people develop bad brushing habits over time. Getting a refresher from your dentist can help ensure you’re doing a good job every time you brush your teeth.

Ask Your Dentist How to Floss

Like brushing, many people develop poor flossing habits over time. Ask your dentist to show you how to floss your teeth the next time you’re in the dentist office. Your dentist can watch you floss and then give you pointers that can help you become a better flosser when you’re doing it at home.

Replace Your Toothbrush Every Three Months

Toothbrushes have a way of becoming ineffective over time. The longer a toothbrush is in use, the more bacteria builds up in the bristles. In addition, the bristles of a toothbrush can become smashed and curled over time, making the brush less able to clean the buildup on your teeth. Replace your toothbrush every three months to prevent this from happening.

Use An Electric Toothbrush

Electric toothbrushes are good at eliminating plaque and preventing it from becoming tartar. Use a good quality electric toothbrush from a brand name you trust to keep your teeth extra clean.

See the Dentist Regularly

Visit the dentist 2-4 times per year for dental cleanings. Seeing your dentist multiple times per year can help you avoid plaque and tartar buildup, excess bacteria in the mouth, gum disease and other conditions.

What are the signs that I have bad oral hygiene?

Knowing the signs that you have bad oral hygiene can prompt you to see the dentist if you need to. Here are some signs to look for:

  • Your breath is bad, even after you’ve brushed your teeth.
  • Your gums are red and inflamed.
  • Your gums bleed when you brush or floss.
  • You have one or more loose permanent teeth.

If you have a dental problem like an infection in the tooth, a cavity or dental decay, you may notice pain in a tooth and discoloration on the tooth enamel as well.

If I think I have bad oral hygiene, what should I do?

Poor oral hygiene can be turned around. Talk to your dentist to find out what else you can do to improve your oral hygiene. Your dentist can identify places where you’re not brushing properly, and can show you what you can do to take care of your teeth better.

Your dentist can also suggest tools that you can use to take better care of your teeth. Once you’ve gotten in the habit of taking better care of your teeth, your oral hygiene will improve naturally with time.

Maintain Your Oral Hygiene With Good Dental Care

Do you suffer from bad oral hygiene? Contact the office of Dr. Kawveh Nofallah to find out how you can improve your oral hygiene and the health of your teeth. We’ll be happy to help you improve your oral hygiene and avoid oral cancer.

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