What Happens If You Don’t Brush Your Teeth?

Many possible side effects can arise without regular teeth brushing, the most common of which include plaque and tartar build-up. Other common side effects include cavities, swollen gums and bad breath.

Dental experts recommend brushing teeth twice a day, as explained by the Mayo Clinic. It is necessary to brush teeth regularly to remove food and bacteria, because harmful bacteria can accumulate into a sticky film known as plaque. Plaque build-up creates acid that eats away at tooth enamel, which leads to cavities, or small holes, in the tooth. As plaque builds up over time, it becomes harder and more difficult to remove the plaque through brushing or scraping, which results in tartar. Tartar can only be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist.

Leaving plaque and tartar build-up untreated leads to more serious complications, such as tooth discoloration, tooth loss and gingivitis. Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums, and it is often the beginning of further dental problems, as explained by HowStuffWorks. Gingivitis can lead to bleeding gums and mouth sores, which can become infected due to the presence of bacteria. Infections lead to severe problems, such as bone loss and abscess, which is an infection at the root of the tooth.