Did you know that good oral health is essential to good overall health? If your smile is riddled with oral infections or diseases, it can spread to other organs in your body. It is because the mouth allows bacteria to enter the bloodstream, where they can spread throughout your body. Also, gum infection, gum inflammation, and tooth damage can make blood pressure worse. It can even interfere with the treatment of hypertension, which can lead to heart attack, heart failure, stroke, and kidney disease.
#1 Cause of Tooth Loss
Along with your general health, your oral health needs to be protected and the number one cause of tooth loss is gum disease! And if you are like most people, you are tempted to floss haphazardly instead of every day, actively risking gum disease, which affects 1 in 4 adults. With gum disease, you aren’t just losing precious gum tissue but risking losing teeth as well as it progresses to its most damaging stage of the disease, called periodontitis.
How Flossing Supports Gum Health
The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis (where there is an infection in the gum tissues from a buildup of harmful dental plaque around the gum line). If left to thrive, this sticky bacterial film can coat your teeth and infect the gums. Most Americans have at least mild gingivitis (likely the result of neglecting their daily flossing routine). At this stage, you will see some inflammation and puffiness in the gums around a few teeth. Fortunately, at this stage, you can still reverse gum disease by stepping up your daily flossing and attending your scheduled dental cleanings.
Even if you have sore gums, that’s not the time to skimp on flossing around them, as flossing gets rid of what is causing the inflammation and soreness! So be sure to floss even if it feels tender to do it because it’s how you get rid of plaque so the gums can heal.
Tips to Prevent Gum Disease
Of course, your best line of defense is flossing every day, even when you don’t feel like it. You can improve your tooth and gum health by flossing faithfully every day. Consider trying out different flossing methods until you find one you like using, and then make sure you do it daily (whether it is dental floss, floss threaders, flossing picks, or a water flosser). The one you will use is the one you should choose!
So floss, floss, floss! Keep damaging plaque and tartar (its hardened form) away from your smile by flossing to boost your gum health and benefit your teeth by helping them stay in place. The flossing tool of your choice that meets your needs is all that matters. Not everyone can manage dental floss, which requires manual dexterity, and not everyone needs a water flosser. But finding your favorite way to floss will reward you with a healthier, more beautiful smile while making the task more enjoyable.
Your daily flossing will help keep bleeding gums to a minimum, even as it removes plaque and stray bits of food that your toothbrush just can’t clean. Your flossing tool cleans those areas between your teeth and the crevices around them, so by flossing, you are also keeping cavities away.
As endodontists, we can tell you that a healthy smile doesn’t just mean healthy teeth without tooth decay and root canals, but also healthy gums to support those pearly whites! When the gums pull away from the teeth, you’ll have pockets that affect the connective tissues holding your teeth in place. Without healthy gums, your teeth don’t stand a chance.
Be sure to brush at least twice a day for two minutes and floss at least once a day. Preventing oral health problems starts in your mouth with your daily oral hygiene routine. If you are having problems with a tooth, don’t wait. Get help! Our team is ready to help you with your endodontic needs!