You may not look forward to flossing each day, but it is a necessary step in order to maintain the health of your smile. However, it isn’t just about getting the popcorn or beef jerky out from between your teeth so that your smile stays clean. Regular flossing can actually save your life! Neglecting this daily task can be disastrous for your smile and other parts of your body. Read on to learn more from your dentist in Clintonville about the importance of flossing and how it can prevent serious, life-threatening health problems.
What Happens if You Don’t Floss?
No matter how much you brush on a regular basis, refraining from including flossing in your oral hygiene routine will only lead to trouble. The first thing that would happen is that food particles will accumulate between the teeth. This will cause a sticky buildup of germs and bacteria to appear between the teeth. When this isn’t removed by regular flossing, you will not only develop halitosis (bad breath), and tooth decay, but this bacteria will accumulate along and beneath the gumline causing periodontal disease. This is still only the beginning.
How Does Periodontal Disease Affect the Rest of the Body?
Whenever you go in for your regular dental checkup, your dentist looks for early signs of gum disease. This is an important thing to catch early on because it is directly linked to many other conditions throughout the body that can be serious and even life-threatening. Here are just a few:
- Heart Disease: Research has made a direct connection between gum disease and heart disease. This includes a number of broad conditions like heart attacks and strokes.
- Diabetes: Gum disease paired with diabetes makes both conditions worse. Serious periodontal disease can cause blood sugar to rise which makes diabetes more difficult to keep under control. High blood sugar weakens the immune system making it difficult to fight off infections in the mouth.
- Respiratory Disease: Bacteria in your mouth can move to the lungs and cause you to experience infections like pneumonia.
- Pregnancy Complications: Any infection can pose issues for both a pregnant woman and unborn child. If the bacteria in the gums reaches the blood stream, this could potentially lead to preterm labor and low birthweight.
- Cancer: Periodontal disease has been linked to cancers in the kidneys, pancreas, and blood.
Next time you brush your teeth, think twice before skipping out on flossing. It leaves you with fewer cavities, fresher breath, and can even save your life!
About the Author
At Creative Smiles in Columbus, OH, Dr. Eric Buck and his team provide a wide array of services, including periodontal therapy. Dr. Buck earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from The Ohio State University and is involved in many professional organizations including the American Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry. For more information on the importance of proper oral hygiene or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (614) 459-7766.