Why is Flossing So Important?

The benefits of flossing cannot be denied, yet so many people avoid this important step. Brushing alone will not rid you of hard to reach plaque, bacteria and food debris. If your dentist or hygienist are repeatedly reminding you to floss your teeth, you may be at risk of developing gum disease. Here’s how flossing can help reduce this risk:

Gingivitis: Plaque contains a bad combination of damaging micro-organisms including bacteria. If dental plaque is not removed, it will continue to accumulate and cause gum inflammation. This is condition is gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease.

If left untreated, gingivitis may develop to advanced periodontal disease. At this late stage of gum disease, the condition damages the jawbone and may lead to tooth loss.

Cavities: Brushing your teeth is a great first step, but it won’t clean the entire surface between teeth and below the gum line. Dental floss removes plaque and debris in the interproximal area, where cavities typically form.

Bad Breath (Halitosis): If plaque builds up between teeth, it will release a bad smell over time. This is often the reason why some people have bad breath, along with severe tooth decay and gum disease.

Tartar Buildup: When dental plaque sits around for a while it eventually turns into tartar. This hard, calcified coating can lead to gum disease. Good oral hygiene habits, including using dental floss daily, can hinder the formation of tartar. Only regular professional dental cleanings can eliminate tartar.

Heart Disease: Dental health is so important for heart disease patients. Sufferers must be extra diligent with their oral hygiene practices. Dangerous mouth bacteria can make its way to the heart. Infective endocarditis is cardiac inflammation caused by bacteria. One of the streptococcus bacteria enters the body through the oral cavity.

If you live with heart disease, you can reduce your risk of worsening your condition by keeping your mouth clean. Floss your teeth at least once daily, and brush with an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste two times each day.

Diabetes: There is research to support that gum disease can exacerbate diabetes symptoms. Proper oral hygiene is a necessary part of diabetes treatment. Inflammation at the gum line can develop more rapidly in diabetes patients. Dental plaque should not be allowed to build up, and tartar must regularly be removed to avoid health complications.