Flossing is a major factor in maintaining good oral hygiene. What can result when a person fails to include this critical practice in their oral care routine? Let’s start with the how the mouth is affected first, and then we will consider other possible consequences for overall health.
Consequences of Plaque Buildup
Even the best toothbrush has trouble cleaning between teeth and under the gum line. In fact, if you are brushing hard enough to get to all of those areas with a toothbrush, you are probably brushing too hard. Instead, flossing is the proper way to remove plaque from these sensitive and hard-to-reach locations. Not flossing can result in plaque buildup, but the consequences do not end there.
When the gum line is not cleaned properly, inflamed and red gums are the result. The bacteria found in plaque can result in gum disease if not removed on a regular basis. This can ultimately erode the gum line, damage the jaw bone, and wear away the supporting tissue that keeps your teeth in place. Ultimately, the result can be the loss of teeth.
Whole Body Health Effects
You may be surprised to learn that many other aspects of a person’s health can be affected as oral health declines. Thus, inadequate flossing may eventually lead to greater health risks such as:
· Heart Disease
· Respiratory Problems
In fact, one study revealed that periodontal disease doubles the chance of someone developing heart disease. This is because dental bacteria can easily enter the bloodstream and from there travel to the heart. The lungs are another location bacteria likes to travel to, and this can cause serious complications for a person who already suffers from a lung condition. Studies have also revealed that gum infections create inflammation in other parts of the body such as the brain. If that was not enough, other potential concerns include an increased risk of:
· Erectile Dysfunction
The link between poor oral hygiene and diabetes is well documented. In fact, as much as 95 percent of adults with diabetes in the US also have periodontal disease. Additionally, periodontal disease can cause inflammation of the blood vessels. This restricts blood flow and is the reason that the risk of ED is increased seven-fold when a person has periodontal disease. Finally, certain types of cancers, including kidney, pancreatic, and blood are more frequently found in persons with gum disease.
Floss Well – Be Healthy
You likely did not expect the consequences of inadequate flossing to take the turn that they did. This article was not intended to scare anyone, but rather to encourage good oral hygiene practices as a preventative measure. Always discuss how the ways in which you can obtain a healthier smile with your dentist, and we wish you happy flossing!