Depending on who you ask, flossing can either mean a dental chore we put up with each night or a short-lived internet dance sensation that many of us have shamefully attempted once or twice. Fortunately, we’re not talking about dancing in this blog. Instead, we’ll explain how flossing can contribute to much more than just your oral health.
Many Ways to Get the Results of Flossing
If you aren’t a fan of flossing, you aren’t alone! Flossing provides a deeper clean than brushing; it dislodges and disrupts any detritus and lowers the chances of buildup that can become harmful to your gums. However, that deep cleaning can be uncomfortable when using traditional dental floss.
But giving your gums that added protection is incredibly important! That is why there are so many alternatives to traditional floss that have been approved by the American Dental Association. Here are just a few to consider:
- Interdental Brushes: These specialized brushes are held just like toothbrushes, but have small, delicate, and maneuverable heads meant to clean deep between teeth and along the gumline just like floss.
- Water Flossing: One of the more popular flossing alternatives, these devices use concentrated jets of water to wash any detritus or buildup away between your teeth; they rinse along the gums, giving a clean and fresh feeling.
- Dental Picks: Dental picks have come a long way from the old, wooden picks that hardboiled detectives loved to chew on in movies. Some come with soft, plastic bristles, others with a rubbery pick on one end to hold with the other end having traditional floss on the other for easier cleaning.
There are so many different methods for flossing, but why would an organization like the American Dental Association be so concerned about making sure everyone could find a method of flossing they are comfortable with?
Well, as it turns out, a healthy set of gums is protecting a lot more than just your teeth!
Gum Disease, Cortisol, and Your Health
As mentioned above, flossing offers a deeper clean that helps keep your gums healthy and prevents gum disease—all incredibly important to your health.
When you are suffering from gum disease, your gums become inflamed, and your body’s natural means to combat this is releasing cortisol, which is also a stress hormone. So, while you are dealing with gum disease, you will have excess cortisol in your system and elevated stress in your day-to-day life.
This is why gum disease has been linked with dozens of serious health problems that have nothing to do with the gums. When you are suffering from gum disease, you are increasing your risks of:
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Stomach cancer
- Type 2 diabetes
- Alzheimer’s disease
Remember Your Mouth Is Also at Risk
While gum disease can impact your overall health, it is also important to remember that it can progress into periodontitis infections that severely damage your oral health as well.
Periodontitis not only inflames and damages the soft tissues, but it can also erode the bone supporting the teeth. This can lead to abscesses, loose teeth, and eventually, tooth loss.
Regular flossing is a critical preventive measure; it removes food particles and plaque from between teeth and beneath the gum line, reducing the risk of gum disease. Taking this simple step can be pivotal in maintaining both your oral and overall health.
Call Us for Healthy Gums and Happy Smiles
Brushing and flossing regularly is one of the greatest steps you can take in protecting your oral health, and so are routine dental exams at Fairchance Dental Arts, your home for a Beaming smile! Our practice offers a wide range of wonderful treatments from general dentistry to dental implants. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.