What Happens When You Don’t Brush Your Teeth

You may have had this question “what happens when you don’t brush your teeth?” on your mind. Have you ever asked yourself what would happen if you do not brush. Well, we grew up with the instructions that we should brush out teeth at least once a day. You may be brushing your teeth to have a healthy teeth and gums but there are people who do not brush. 

The reason can be lack of time, forgetfulness or maybe they do not even want to. It is not really bad if you do not brush for a day (although it is not advisable) but there are some things that will happen if you do not brush your teeth. This article will look into these consequences of not brushing your teeth.


Before we go into the damages and consequences of not brushing your teeth, let us first look at the reasons why you need to brush your teeth. Your teeth and mouth are some of the easiest places for germs to breed. The food and substances taken into the mouth can cause bacteria to attack the teeth and damage them. So, the best way to avoid dental issues is by brushing your teeth at least once although the recommended times for brushing is twice a day preferably in the morning and at night.

The few minutes you spend brushing can help you control build-up of bacteria in the mouth. Another reason why you need to brush your teeth is to avoid bad smell emitting from the mouth. This bad smell can make others uncomfortable. You would not be comfortable yourself if the smell from your mouth is off-putting.


There are some problems that can occur not just to your dental health but to your overall health of you do not brush.

These problems include:

1. Dental Health

The first problem from not brushing your teeth will affect your dental health, this is because your dental health is directly connected to brushing. The following will happen to your dental health if you do not brush your teeth.

2. Cavities

Tooth damage is the first step to having a cavity, it is caused by bacteria in the mouth. Your mouth has over 300 types of bacteria living in the mouth. When you eat sugary substances, the bacteria converts these sugars to acid. This causes plaque – a sticky, colorless film, to cover your teeth. Plaque is made of saliva, leftover food particles and bacteria. 

When you do not brush your teeth, this plaques begins to build up and with time it becomes harder and forms tartar. The tartar protects bacteria and make them to stay in the teeth. The plaque and tartar penetrate into the enamel (the hardest part of the teeth) and attack other layers underneath causing cavities. Cavities can cause dental infections and loss of teeth if not treated. Cavities can be prevented if you brush your teeth and maintain good dental hygiene.

3. Gingivitis

Gingivitis is another problem you can have if you do not brush your teeth. Plaque can also make the gums to become weak and lead to gingivitis which is a form of gum disease. The plaque has bacteria that can cause inflammation and irritation of the gum. The gum becomes swollen a gum can bleed. 

4. Periodontitis

Gingivitis comes before periodontitis. This is a serious infection that affects not just the gums but the bone supporting the teeth as well. Most periodontitis lead to loss of teeth. All these dental problem can be prevented and avoided by brushing your teeth.

What Happens When You Don't Brush Your Teeth
What Happens When You Don’t Brush Your Teeth

5. Heart Disease

A study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology in 2019 found out that people who brush their teeth at least three times in a day were less likely to experience atrial fibrillation and heart failure. You may ask yourself the relationship between brushing your teeth and heart disease but the same study showed that having poor oral hygiene can provoke transient bacteremia and systemic inflammation which is like an arbitrator of atrial fibrillation and heart failure. 

Brushing your teeth and visiting a dentist regularly will reduce the likelihood that a person would encounter complications in the heart. Having a greater number of missing teeth can increase the risk of having heart-related conditions.

6. Possible Link to Dementia

You could ask yourself the relationship between not brushing teeth and having dementia. A research review published in Current Neurology and Neuroscience Report in 2019 established that there is a greater rate of dental decay with those who have dementia.

The researchers reviewed a likely relationship between dental conditions that cause inflammation and inflammation in the brain which can lead to dementia. This research review only implied that there is a possibility of poor dental hygiene to cause dementia, currently there is no evidence that proves there is a connection.

7. Mouth and Stomach Ulcers

When you do not brush your teeth, you have tooth decay and ulcers can form under the gum line. A bacteria known as Helicobacter pylori can be concealed in small holes or spaces under the gum and this is associated with stomach ulcers when it flares up. The holes and pockets that form under the gum can be a breeding place for bacteria.


Braces can be used to treat teeth misalignment, it can help your smile to become more beautiful. You must take care of the braces and teeth but this may be difficult. You have to take extra care of your teeth if you are wearing braces to avoid bacteria and plaque building up around the little spaces and brackets of your braces. If you do not brush your teeth, these plaque can start to demineralize your enamel.

If you do not brush your teeth with braces, there will be cavities in your teeth which can lead to pain even while you are wearing the braces. Having cavities with braces will can lead to removing the brackets, fixing cavities, removing plaque, reattaching the brackets and replacing the wires. These processes takes time and money as well.

Earring braces without brushing your teeth regularly can lead to build-up not bacteria in the mouth. If these bacteria are not removed, the tissues that support the teeth can be destroyed. These bacteria can also enter the bloodstream thereby causing other health problems.


You are expected to brush your teeth for at least two minutes, twice a day, every day.

Some problems that can occur when you do not brush your teeth regularly are:

1. Cavities

This is the most common and first problem you will face if you do not brush regularly. When you eat and leave food debris, bacteria in your mouth feeds on them and converts the food particles to acid. The acid wears off the enamel and with time, there are cavities. 

2. Bad Breath

Not brushing your teeth will can cause bad breath, this is one of the effects of not brushing your teeth. The smell is from the bacteria in your mouth and cause cavities. The smell is pungent and the more you stay away from brushing your teeth, the worse the smell becomes. To avoid this smell, you have to brush your teeth regularly.

3 Gum Disease

After cavities are left untreated, the other layers of the teeth apart from the enamel can be affected. The bacteria penetrate into the gums and cause infection. If the infection is not treated on time, the gums and tissues can be infected. 

4. Tooth Loss

After gum and tissue infections are not treated, there can be tooth loss. The infection can damage the tooth nerves and tissues leading to tooth loss.


It may not seem like a big issue if you do not brush your teeth for a day, but to some people, this is a big deal and it feels weird. However, at the end of the day, you may feel slimy and filmy substance on your teeth, this is plaque. You will not have rough spots yet but the plaque is gradually filling up your teeth. When you brush, you do not only remove the plaque but prevent it from building up and causing cavities. However, if you still do not brush after three day, the bacteria in the plaque will overproduce.


After a week of not brushing your teeth, you will notice significant changes in your mouth. The plaque produced will be too much and you will feel your teeth being slippery. When you look at your teeth, you will see buildup forming at the gum line and on the teeth. You will also notice very pungent smell coming out from your mouth, this can make others uncomfortable. In about a week, there will be presence of gingivitis (a gum disease).


A month is enough time for serious change to happen. The first change is gum disease known as gingivitis. There will be build up of plaque at the gum line and below the gum line, this can cause swelling and redness of the gums. It is still possible to reverse the effects of not brushing for a month if you see your dentist for thorough cleaning to remove the hard tartar.


After a year, a person who does not brush his or her teeth is doing severe damage to the teeth and gums. Some people may not have cavities after a year of not brushing but there will be severe gum disease and terrible bad smell. In other people, there will be cavities, gum disease and horrible smell from the mouth.

It depends on the person and their health status. However, you should know that not brushing for a year can cause cavities, advanced tooth decay, and periodontal disease.


There is no reason for you not to brush your teeth as there are many complications like cavities, gum disease, tooth loss, heart disease and dementia. You should care for your teeth just like you care for other parts of the body. 

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