Mind the gap: the importance of flossing
Good oral health isn’t just about keeping a nice smile; the state of your dental health has a profound impact on your overall health and oral disease has been linked to many systemic diseases.
Bacteria that causes tooth decay and gum disease can enter your circulatory system, stimulating the liver to release proteins to fight them. This produces an inflammatory effect throughout the body.
Health risks associated with poor oral health
The list of serious health concerns that have been clinically proven to be associated with poor oral health is long; from heart disease, diabetes, cancer, to even an increased risk of developing dementia. Yet, figures released in advance of this month’s National Smile Month show that many of us are still not taking oral health seriously enough. One in four adults in the UK have admitted that they don’t brush twice a day, less than a quarter of adults use dental floss regularly and one in three people have never flossed their teeth.
The importance of flossing
Brushing your teeth twice a day should be an absolute must, but flossing or using interdental brushes can be just as important as it removes bacteria between the teeth, which in turn becomes plaque and then tartar build up that eventually leads to tooth decay. A normal toothbrush will not be able to clean effectively between the teeth.
Inter-dental brushes are small toothbrushes, specially designed to clean between the gaps in your teeth. There are a range of sizes and our hygienist can advise you on which one is best for you.
With flossing, you gently move the tape between the teeth, but don’t pull or tug too much as it can hurt and even cause bleeding. Don’t worry if you do see blood the first time you floss but if it persists then it can be a sign of gum disease and an appointment with our specialist periodontist Dr Hatem Algraffee might be in order.