Despite the fact that nearly all of us know we need to floss our teeth, only 50 percent of Americans floss daily, 31 percent floss less than daily, and 18 percent do not floss at all, according to reports from the American Dental Association. Many who are not flossing believe that brushing their teeth is enough, but the truth is that a toothbrush, even an electric one, simply cannot get all the food particles and bacteria that are in between the teeth. When left for too long, that bacteria can turn into tartar, which can lead to cavities and gum disease, which potentially could lead to the loss of that tooth.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
Periodontal disease is caused by bacteria and inflammation. If plaque (made up of bacteria, food particles, and mucus) builds up on your teeth and is not brushed away it hardens into tartar. Tartar gets stuck on your teeth, you cannot brush or floss it away on your own at home. The bacteria in plaque and tartar cause inflammation of the gums, the gums then can pull away from the teeth, forming pockets between the tooth and gums that then fill with more tartar and bacteria. As the bacteria grow, inflammation spreads to the ligaments and bone that hold your teeth in place, and once that happens, you now have periodontitis.
Problems Caused By Periodontitis
The problem with periodontitis is that your gums, ligaments and bone that hold your teeth in place are destroyed and your teeth begin to fall out. Periodontitis has also been linked to heart disease, increased chance of strokes, premature births, respiratory problems, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
Now you know why flossing is so important, not just for your oral health, but for your overall health. If you have not been to the dentist in awhile, or think you have some of the symptoms of periodontal disease, schedule an appointment with Dr. Mariana Conant, DDS and her team at 203-692-4405 today.