Side effects of not brushing your teeth enough go way beyond your pearly whites

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By Maria Mercedes Galuppo, Buzz60

The importance of brushing and flossing is no surprise to anyone who's ever seen a dentist.That said, not taking care of one's teeth can have far more serious consequences than not passing the "tissue test."

According to Cosmopolitan, here are five scary things that can happen if you don't take your oral hygiene seriously.

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5 Effects of Not Brushing Your Teeth
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5 Effects of Not Brushing Your Teeth

Stress and bad oral hygiene go hand in hand. The cause and effect is unclear, but stress is often tied to cavities or inflammation.

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Bacteria in your mouth is a favorite place for pathogens. They contribute to plaque buildup in your arteries and can boost your chances of suffering a heart attack or a stroke.

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Dry mouth and high bacteria levels can worsen conditions like diabetes for people living with them. If you have diabetes, try keeping floss or sugar-free gum handy to rid your mouth of molecules that could make it harder to regulate your blood sugar.

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Speaking of bacteria, Cosmo also points to studies suggesting poor oral hygiene can lead to inflammation of the body and gum disease, which in turn increases your risk of developing cognitive problems like Alzheimer’s as you age. 

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Osteoporosis and oral health issues also seem to be linked. That’s because bacteria not only weakens the immune system, but it can wear away the tissues in your mouth keeping your teeth in place.

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Okay, now we kind of want to start brushing five times a day.

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