December 17, 2021
In the United States, nearly one-third of adults don’t floss. Many view it as being an optional part of their oral hygiene routine, but skipping the floss means you’re leaving 40% of the plaque on your teeth. Not only can flossing prevent oral health issues, but it may even save your life. Read on to learn why flossing your teeth at least once per day is so important and how it can save more than just your smile.
Why Flossing Is So Important
Oral bacteria feed off the sugar in the foods we eat. The bacteria will then release harmful acids that attack your enamel and weaken the teeth. While brushing your teeth once in the morning and once at night for two minutes is one of the most important parts of keeping your mouth healthy, so is flossing. There are parts of the mouth that can’t be cleaned using a toothbrush, but dental floss can fit in the tight spaces between teeth to remove plaque and food particles that may have gotten stuck there.
How Gum Disease Can Affect the Body
If the mouth isn’t cleaned properly with flossing, this may ultimately lead to gum disease. Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums that is mostly avoidable and often the result of poor oral hygiene. Though it’s easy enough to treat in its early stages, severe gum disease can lead to a range of serious health conditions, including:
- Pregnancy complications –The gums are full of blood vessels. Once bacteria gets under the gum line, this allows it to enter your bloodstream. If this happens, it can result in low birth weight or preterm labor.
- Respiratory disease – If bacteria travel from the mouth to the lungs, this can lead to pneumonia and other infections that make it hard to breathe.
- Cancer – People with a history of gum disease are 52% more likely to develop stomach cancer and 43% more likely to develop esophageal cancer. Gum disease has also been linked to pancreas, kidneys, and blood cancer.
- Diabetes – Severe gum disease can raise the blood sugar of diabetic patients and make the condition harder to manage. High blood sugar also weakens the immune system, which makes it harder to fight off infections.
- Heart disease – The inflammation caused by gum disease leads to a flood of immune cells. Though this encourages healing short term, chronic inflammation can result in health problems like heart disease since gum disease bacteria can get into the circulatory system and lead to heart inflammation.
Make sure to floss once per day before you go to bed to keep health issues at bay. This will help you maintain a beautiful smile while increasing your chances of living a happy, healthy life!
About the Author
Led by Dr. C.J. Landry, Lapalco Family Dental takes pride in administering the best possible care to patients in Marrero and the surrounding communities. They value patient safety and comfort and will do whatever they can to ensure that your dental appointments are as pleasant as possible. If you want to improve your oral and overall health by flossing more, they can offer advice on how to successfully incorporate it into your oral hygiene routine. To schedule an appointment, or if you have questions about how flossing can improve your health, call them at (504) 348-0080 or visit their website.
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