What happens when you don’t brush your teeth? Here are 9 things.

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What happens when you don’t brush your teeth? You’ve probably heard as much as your name that you must brush your teeth twice daily. But sometimes we just skip. People think there is no harm to skip sometimes. But there is. The brushing routine is much more important than expected. You can avoid a lot of dental expenses just by keeping this routine. But most importantly, the key to maintaining your oral and dental health and a beautiful smile is to follow the brushing routine: one in the morning, before eating anything, and the other one before sleeping.

So what happens when you don’t brush your teeth? In this article, we’ll try to explain these potential issues to you.

What happens when you don’t brush your teeth regularly?

If you’re wondering if there are repercussions to skipping brushing your teeth for a long period of time you should know there are. Also, some of them are serious. But also, ew, why would you want to skip brushing and the feeling of a clean fresh mouth?

Here’s a list of what happens when you don’t brush your teeth:

  1. Bad breath
  2. Food residue
  3. Plaque buildup
  4. Gum disease
  5. Possible tooth loss
  6. Cavities
  7. Gingivitis
  8. Possible oral cancer
  9. No social life

Bad breath

The main reason for bad breath is poor oral hygiene. The residues of the things we eat and drink during the day can settle in various parts of our mouths and teeth. Even though this alone is a reason for bad breath, it also causes a lot of bacteria to grow in your mouth. These bacteria settle on your teeth and cover the surface. The residues are their aliments and they cause structures called plaques with their waste. These plaques settle on your teeth and gum borders. Also, poor oral hygiene can cause bacteria to grow on your tongue. All these things are the causes of bad breath. The remains of food, the bacteria that eat them, and the waste of those bacteria…

Food residue

Food residues by themselves are not a dangerous problem. They may distort the appearance of your teeth and smell bad. But more importantly, they can invite some bigger problems. They are the base of the bacterial life in the mouth. The bacteria can survive and reproduce by feeding on them. You can easily prevent this by following a proper oral hygiene routine. Brushing your teeth twice a day cuts this vital support bacteria by removing the residues. Some sticky foods are harder to dissolve and they continue feeding the bacteria if you don’t remove them. That’s why you have to brush your teeth by using the necessary force and for at least two minutes.

Plaque buildup

Plaques are sticky bulks formed by microorganisms, saliva, food residues, and bacterial wastes. They can grow between the teeth, the chewing surfaces, and the gum line. If left untreated, they will grow and thrive in a poor oral hygiene environment. After reaching a certain level, these bacterial colonies become a serious threat to your teeth and gums. If they accumulate enough they become harder structures called tartar. Tartars are harder to remove, so you may need to visit your dentist for such removal. Growing tartars can erode the tooth enamel and damage the gums. If they erode the enamel enough, they cause tooth decay. Also, the damaged receding gums expose the tooth roots and they can easily erode too. So plaques are one of the causes of periodontal diseases, tooth decay, and tooth loss.

Gum disease

It is a serious disease, generally caused by poor oral hygiene, specifically by plaques. Gum is an important tissue surrounding and supporting the tooth roots. Uncleaned tartars continue growing, and they eventually irritate the gum tissue. Infected gum tissue can start swelling and in some more serious conditions like receding gum. Receding gums expose the tooth roots and leave them vulnerable. So gum disease is also a direct threat to the teeth. It also causes bad breath and a bad appearance.

Possible tooth loss

As we said above, advanced gum disease causes receding gum. When the gum starts to recede, it affects the bone structure and exposes the tooth roots. Exposed tooth roots become weaker and it can make your teeth fall off. Infections spreading around from the plagues harms the bones and the teeth. Your teeth start to lose the structures supporting them day by day. In the end, without supporting tissues like bones and gums, there is nothing to prevent your teeth from moving or falling.


Cavities are primarily caused by bacteria and not cleaning your mouth well. The accumulating bacteria feeding on the sugars in the food residues form plaques. These plaques produce acid. The acid from these plaques erodes the hard and strong layer called enamel. Enamel forms the outer tooth surface of your teeth. Once the enamel is eroded, bacteria can reach the inner parts of the tooth. Dentin is the first layer coming after the enamel. It is softer and more vulnerable than dentin and the bacteria can proceed here easily. After dentin, comes the pulp including the nerves and the vessels. If bacteria reach this area, it can cause serious pain.


Gingivitis is a form of gum disease that causes swelling, irritation, and redness in your gingiva the part of your gum at the toothed border. It also causes bad breath. Its main reason is poor oral hygiene and plaques. Untreated gingivitis can evolve into periodontal disease. Some types of gingivitis never evolve there but every periodontitis case is preceded by gingivitis. Gingivitis is not destructive just by itself unless it progresses to periodontitis. It is also reversible with good oral hygiene.

Possible oral cancer

Some medical studies are pointing medical studies to links between poor oral hygiene and oral cancers. These studies show us that brushing teeth and good oral hygiene can reduce the risk of oral cancer. The infections caused by bad oral hygiene and dental plaques can spread over several mouth parts and this situation can weaken your immune system. A weak immune system can pave the way for tumor cells to multiply and spread. So brushing your teeth twice a day is an important factor to prevent this kind of situation by avoiding tobacco products etc.

No social life (let’s be honest)

A good appearance is a key factor in social life. It is important both for your self-confidence and social existence. It’s normal not to want to have bad breath when you speak to your friends or kiss your partner. Being uncomfortable with your appearance makes you timider with people. This will negatively affect your social life. A good look supports a good vibe. So healthy teeth and a beautiful smile will support your social life. This keeps you psychologically safe. The social and psychological effects of dental health are some great factors that are not mentioned enough.

Is chewing gum instead of brushing teeth effective?

No, it’s not. Chewing gum can help clean the surface of your teeth. Especially after a meal, it can help you to displace the food residues. But it can’t reach the areas between the teeth and some other parts. Proper cleaning is only possible with tooth brushing. But there is something else very important about chewing gums. For the benefits we mentioned to exist, the gum must be sugar-free. Never forget: Sugar is the number one enemy of good oral health. It is the main food of oral bacteria. It is the main cause of plaque and tartar formation and tooth decay. So chewing sugary gum can have the opposite effect.

What happens when you don’t brush your teeth with braces?

Braces are tools that require extra dental hygiene. It is much easier for food particles to get between them. This causes bacteria to settle and multiply and plaque formation. If you don’t take care of cleaning, the enamel layer around the braces gets worn and tooth decay can occur. So if you have braces, you have to be more careful about your dental hygiene routines.

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