You might think that in an increasingly germ-o-phobic nation, people would take extra care to eliminate oral disease-causing germs from their mouths, but you’d be wrong.
Nearly 80 percent of people in America feel concerned about germs on their hands yet only 66 percent worry about germs in their mouth.
What’s more, while nearly all Americans surveyed (95 percent) agreed that they need to do more than just brush to keep their mouths healthy, only one in three flosses or rinse with mouthwash in the morning, and less than half see a dentist twice a year for preventative visits.
The fact is that many people don’t realise that brushing only cleans approximately 25 percent of your mouth.
Your mouth can have more germs in it than there are people on the planet and science suggests that some of these germs may be linked with chronic diseases so it would be advisable to brush, floss and rinse with a therapeutic mouthwash twice a day and visit the dentist regularly to prevent problems and keep your mouth healthy.
Barriers to Going “Beyond Brushing”Perhaps many of us rely on brushing alone because we think of cavities as the most common oral health problem.
However, a recent survey showed, bleeding while brushing and flossing is the most common symptom experienced by half of all surveyed, followed by cavities and plaque, which impacted only one in three.
Germs in the mouth multiply and can become embedded in a thick layer called plaque biofilm.
When this happens, these biofilm germs become much more difficult to kill by simply brushing and flossing, and are more likely to cause problems such as bad breath and more seriously gingivitis.
Left untreated, gingivitis can increase the potential for advanced gum disease, which science suggests could be linked with greater health problems.
As for preventative dental visits, those surveyed named a lack of dental insurance (44 percent) and money (41 percent) as barriers to adopting this practice.
The Surprising Impact of Poor Oral Care
Poor oral care can have a much greater impact on a person’s health and lifestyle than you might think.
Numerous reports have shown a possible link between poor oral health and chronic illness, including diabetes and heart disease.
Beyond the potential health risks, many survey respondents said they have missed activities including eating favourite foods (37 percent), smiling in photographs (33 percent), sleep (19 percent), kissing loved ones (15 percent) and work (10 percent) because of dental problems such as tooth pain, cavities and gingivitis.
Social stigma may also exist, as those with poor oral health were viewed by nearly 40 percent or more respondents as untidy.