Q:

What happens when you don't brush your teeth?

A:

Quick Answer

Plaque buildup, gingivitis and gum disease can result from not brushing the teeth. In severe cases, there is increased risk for periodontitis and other serious health conditions, such as heart disease, stroke or cancer. The mouth acquires more than 600 types of bacteria that have harmful effects.

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Full Answer

The majority of bacteria in the mouth have the ability to cause severe damage. Plaque is a coating of bacteria that produces acid in the mouth that dissolves tooth enamel and creates cavities. Over time, plaque becomes harder and is unaffected by scraping or brushing. This can cause tartar to form on the teeth. Tartar is hard bits on the teeth that begin irritating the gums. This uncontrolled growth leads to gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums that causes bleeding and swelling. Periodontitis occurs after an extended period of not brushing. This is a group of gum diseases that have damaging effects on the teeth.

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