Most of us understand that brushing our teeth is an efficient means of preventing cavities, maintaining a glittering smile, and preserving fresh breath. In the social sphere, all of these outcomes are advantageous. In terms of personal hygiene, they cannot be ignored. However, what happens when we forget and fall asleep without brushing our teeth? Is the damage minimal or irreversible? Here to give you a better idea of the consequences is a brief list describing just what happens when you fall asleep without cleaning your teeth.
What Happens to the Teeth?
Every time we eat, we are simultaneously feeding ourselves and the bacteria that reside in our mouths. Just like us, the bacteria defecate after they eat. Can you guess where? That’s right, all over our teeth! The waste that bacteria leave behind is highly acidic and eats away at tooth enamel, eventually causing tooth decay and cavities.
Sleeping without brushing allows plaque to calcify on the teeth. Once this has occurred, it can only be removed by a dentist. Even worse, gums misread plaque as an infection, which causes the immune system to attack. Consequently, the body also starts to attack healthy tissue that is trying to hold the teeth in place, causing the gums to peel away from the teeth.
The Dangers of Inflammation
Long term inflammation can cause excessive long term damage. Just how much damage? Well, some studies have linked habitual inflammation to heart disease, hearing loss, and dementia. Granted, all of this won’t happen if you forget to brush your teeth a couple times; it’s when you make a habit out of it that thinks can get dangerous. Rather than promoting bodily degradation, just take an extra five minutes for preventative oral hygiene. It doesn’t even necessarily matter when you brush, so long as you remove the bacteria once in the morning and once at night.
Tips and Tricks
Keeping a toothbrush next to your bed means you can give your teeth a quick brush if you forget to do so before getting into bed. You don’t even need toothpaste for this trick, just keep some sanitizer on hand to clean your brush afterwards. Additionally, you can also do the same with floss. There’s also a great memorization technique that can be used before bed: get into the habit of running your tongue over your teeth, and pay attention to whether the surface feels thick and pasty, or smooth. This habit provides a quick and effective means of knowing whether your teeth are clean or caked in plaque.