Why do dentists encourage flossing daily? Because it is one of the best methods we have to prevent gum disease. Flossing can get rid of tartar that has accrued near the surface of the gumline preventing it from getting underneath the gumline where it can do significantly more damage and is much more difficult to access.
Why should you be interested in preventing gum disease? Aside from losing your teeth and making your breath smell bad, gum disease is also linked to heart disease. So flossing is something you want to take very seriously.
The Purpose of Flossing
Flossing removes plaque and tartar that have accrued below the gumline. Some folks, however, say that they don’t have enough time while others aren’t sure that they’re doing it correctly. Even flossing three or four times a week has been shown to improve the oral health of those who take the time, so it’s well worth investing a few minutes a day to ensure that you don’t end up with gum disease down the road.
The correct way to floss involves removing about 18 inches of floss from the dispenser. You want to wind the floss around your fingers and then depress the floss into your gumline until you start feeling some resistance. Holding the floss against the tooth, you want the floss to scrape away the plaque and tartar that’s built up there.
Doing this daily can prevent you from needing to have a scaling and root planing done which is several times more uncomfortable than flossing.
Plaque and Tartar Increase Your Risk of Heart Disease
This is a difficult conversation to have, but the presence of advanced gum disease is linked to heart disease. There have been cases of oral infections traveling to other parts of the body. If you think of where your mouth is located, it makes a lot of sense. Your mouth is strategically placed within close proximity to several of your body’s most important organs. This includes your lungs and your heart. If the infection spreads, it can cause serious problems—much more serious than the loss of a tooth.
Those with gum disease are two to three times more likely to have a serious cardiac event, like a heart attack or a stroke, than those without it. While scientists aren’t certain if there is a direct link between heart disease and plaque, a completely different kind of plaque can build up in your arteries. This is called atherosclerosis. The link may be indirect. The plaque buildup causes an increase in inflammation which, if present over a substantial amount of time, can increase the risk of all types of conditions and diseases. Among them is heart disease.
Call Peak Family Dental Care Today
If you’re concerned about your gums, call Peak Family Dental Care today and we can set you up with an appointment, take a look at your gums, and determine the best course of action moving forward. Gum disease is not something you have to live with. Call today to schedule an intake appointment.