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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 U.S.A. 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 gumline.
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 U.S.A. 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 blood stream 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.
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Here's What Happens If You Stopped Brushing Your Teeth

685 Folder Collection
Evangeline published on October 1, 2018
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