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  • Meet streptococcus mutans.

  • Hey. My friends call me Strep.

  • He's a bacterium and a bit of a slob.

  • But this isn't just any mess.

  • It's what's on your teeth.

  • You see, strep and all his roommates live inside your mouth.

  • Feeding off of the sugar and protein in your food.

  • When they're done, they excrete a slimy substance all over your pearly whites.

  • The end result is a bacteria ridden pigsty called biofilm.

  • Now, a little biofilm isn't gonna hurt you.

  • It's only when you stop brushing it away that things can get ugly.

  • And not only for your teeth.

  • It just so happens that strep and his friends are a downright threat to your life.

  • Nearly half of Americans don't brush their teeth enough.

  • And when food builds up in those nooks and crannies, you're inviting a host of bacteria to the party.

  • Including your gum line.

  • Which irritate and inflame your gums causing tenderness and bleeding.

  • But that's just the start.

  • Soon enough, that infection will trigger your immune system which sends fighter cells to battle the bacteria.

  • This creates a hostile environment for the bacteria.

  • Which is what you want but it can also damage the cells in nearby tissue and bone.

  • Six months to years later that tissue and bone will eventually die.

  • At this point, you don't have gingivitis anymore.

  • You have something much worse: periodontal disease.

  • No more tissue and bone means no more structural support.

  • So, your gums separate from your teeth forming pockets that quickly become extra space for strep and his friends.

  • Which further infects your gums causing your teeth to fall out.

  • Now, you may think this could never happen to you but about 10% of Americans between ages 50-64 have lost not one, not two, but all of their teeth.

  • And to make matters worse, strep and his buddies may enter your bloodstream where they'll wreak havoc on your organs, too.

  • For example, in one study, people with periodontal disease were four and a half times more likely to have chronic kidney disease than people with healthy gums.

  • And another study found that people in a retirement community who didn't brush their teeth daily had up to 65% greater risk of dementia.

  • Last but not least, there's an increased risk of developing certain cancers.

  • To be fair, these risks can also be the result of poor hygiene in general but the message remains clear.

  • Brush your teeth.

  • It's worth the extra four minutes a day.

Meet streptococcus mutans.

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B1 US teeth bacteria tissue brush bone disease

Here's What Happens If You Stopped Brushing Your Teeth

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    Evangeline posted on 2021/04/26
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