CNN.com recently reported on a study that has our team at Beaumont Family Dentistry a little concerned.
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, respondents were asked about their flossing habits. Here’s what the survey said:
- 32.4 percent of American adults don’t floss
- 37.2 percent of adults floss, but not daily
- 30.3 percent of adults do floss daily
For what it’s worth, daily flossing is what is recommended by the American Dental Association. Yet, nearly 7 in 10 Americans do not follow this recommendation.
This does help explain research by the Centers for Disease Control that found that nearly half of American adults have some form of advanced periodontal disease. Maybe we should be surprised that that rate isn’t higher.
If you are one of the nearly 70 percent who doesn’t floss daily, we hope you will start, and we hope you will visit us for gum disease treatment if you live in or near Lexington, KY.
The Leading Cause Of Tooth Loss
Too many of us neglect our gums because they aren’t the stars of the show, in a manner of speaking.
When most of us smile, our teeth are far and away our most predominant feature. This in and of itself can motivate many of us to brush our teeth at least twice per day.
As a quick aside, the ADA recommends brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste for at least two minutes each time you brush.
Flossing daily is just as important since it removes bacteria in places that your toothbrush can’t reach. That bacteria is what causes gum disease and tooth decay.
It’s important to keep in mind that your gums play an important function in your oral health. Your gums help to keep your teeth securely in place. While the roots of your teeth are anchored in your jawbone, the gums assist it keeping your teeth in their sockets.
Secondly, your gums provide a layer of protection for your teeth and the bone that holds them in place.
You may be asking for problems if you develop gum disease and don’t treat it. As the disease progresses, you will have bigger problems than bleeding gums.
In addition to feeling sore, your gums can recede, or pull away, from your teeth. Gum disease can also cause pockets to form near the roots of your teeth. As plaque and tartar build in these pockets, bacteria may start to weaken the bone or eat into your teeth at the root.
This can cause your tooth to feel loose in its socket, or it may lead to a tooth infection.
Treating Gum Disease
If you notice the symptoms of gum disease in its early stages, it is possible to reverse it before it causes the problems described above.
You may notice bleeding when you floss or brush or your gums may appear more swollen or redder than usual. The bleeding should be taken as a clue that you have not been flossing as often as you should.
If you make flossing a daily habit, then you should notice that the bleeding stops with a little time.
If your gum disease has reached a more advanced stage, you may notice soreness in your gums. You also may see signs of the gum recession mentioned earlier.
Other symptoms of advanced gum disease include halitosis (chronic bad breath) and pus leaking from your gums.
Advanced periodontal disease requires professional treatment. If you see, any of the symptoms mentioned above, please call our office to get help as soon as you are able.
We use different forms of non-surgical periodontal treatment.
Scaling and root planing are deep cleaning procedures to remove plaque and tartar buildup from the roots of your teeth.
Laser treatments are a safe and effective way to remove the diseased tissue from your mouth. The laser allows us to more accurately target the infected gums while preserving healthy tissue. The laser also can seal your gums and speed up your recovery when compared to surgical treatments.
We also may prescribe antibiotics when need to help reduce the risk of a recurring infection.
Take Care Of Your Smile
Taking care of your gums is necessary if you want to preserve your smile. This is why you need to brush twice a day and floss every day.
It also means you should visit the nearest Beaumont Family Dentistry for routine cleanings and exams at least twice a year. If you have not yet made your next appointment or you suspect that you may have gum disease, please call us today or fill out our online form to schedule your visit.
You owe it to yourself to keep your gums and your mouth as healthy as you can.