Rotting Teeth - It's More Than Just Appearance
When we look at pictures of people who have rotting teeth, our first reaction is one of not being quite able to understand why they haven't done something about it. Some of the people in those photos even look quite happy, as if they didn't have a care in the world. They don't even look as if they're in any pain.
We tend to forget that there are a great many people who just can't afford to have their teeth looked after, much less fixed when a problem does arise. Most of those we see in those pictures would probably gladly have their teeth fixed if they had the means to do so, although there are always a few who probably could care less.
For one thing, rotting teeth are not attractive to look at. Just look at the pictures of famous people where the photos have been doctored to make it appear that they have missing, discolored, or rotten teeth. It doesn't take all that much to spoil one's appearance. One stained front tooth can make a very attractive person seem somewhat less so.
Think In Terms Of An Infection - It isn't all about appearance however. It isn't even all about the pain or discomfort that often accompanies teeth that have been damaged to the point they are beginning to rot. A rotten tooth is a symptom of something that can be much worse that the condition of the tooth itself. When we don't take good care of our teeth, cavities can begin to form due to the bacteria that resides on the surface of the teeth. A cavity in a tooth is more than just a hole, it's a bacterial infection, even though we usually don't think of it as such. We tend to think about it as being simply a hole, a hole that at some point in time needs to be plugged up.
A tooth that is rotten is also a tooth that has become infected, badly infected in fact. Sometimes, a rotten tooth will simply fall out, but that's not really the end of the story, since for a tooth to fall out, the gums and jawbone have to allow it to do so, and they are much more apt to allow that to happen if they are also badly infected or have been weakened.
If you cut your finger, and it becomes infected, you usually do something about it, because you want the infection to go away. Or at least you want the pain to go away. There are times however you might choose to ignore the infection, figuring the body will do what it's really pretty good at doing, and that's fighting off an infection. Maybe the infection will go away, and maybe it won't. The biggest problem we usually have with an infection is that it will sometimes spread, and then we can have a bigger problem to contend with, like blood poisoning.
A cavity in your tooth is rarely life threatening, but if the infection in that cavity is allowed to grow, and it extends to the nerve of the tooth, and to the gums, and to the jawbone, you can suddenly have a real problem, a problem that in some cases can even become life threatening.
Rotten Teeth And Heart Attacks - For one thing, there's a definite connection between advanced gum disease or periodontitis, and cardiac disease. Rotting teeth are usually accompanied by a severe case of periodontitis, which in turn can greatly increase one's risk of having a heart attack or a stroke. More likely however, is a possibility that the bacteria in the teeth and gums will enter into the blood stream. Once that is allowed to happen, almost any organ in the body, including the brain, can become susceptible to infection.
Drugs Are To Blame As Well - Those people you see in photos who have rotting teeth, aren't necessarily just those people who live on a diet of candy bars, soft drinks, and sugar coated cereals. The use of drugs, especially methamphetamines, has taken a toll on the teeth of a good many people. Even certain over-the-counter drugs such as aspirin, usually considered to be harmless, can cause tooth decay if taken too often or are taken in excess. Drugs, prescription or otherwise, that cause dry mouth as a side affect will often cause tooth decay. Compounding the problem for those who take illegal prescription drugs is that the use of many of those drugs results in abnormal cravings for sweets. Heroin for example doesn't harm teeth directly, but its use often creates a craving for sugars and sweets. Cocaine on the other hand directly affects the teeth, and a cocaine addict is quite apt to have a mouthful of badly decayed or rotting teeth.
If you should ever allow your teeth to become so badly decayed that they begin to rot, the chances are very good that you will literally have a mouthful of problems to deal with, including infected gums, mouth ulcers, stained and broken teeth, and deteriorating jawbones. Take good care of your teeth. You don't want to become a poster child for rotting teeth.