When you have gum disease, your whole mouth is at risk. Gum disease is a progressive condition that eventually ends in tooth loss, if not taken care of.
You hear time and time again that flossing is an important factor in preventing gum disease. But can it help to improve the condition if you already have it?
What is Gum Disease?Gum disease is a condition that starts out quietly. As gingivitis, your teeth have a buildup of plaque, and an excess of oral bacteria attack your gum tissue. Symptoms usually include red, swollen gums that bleed while brushing and flossing.
This can often lead you to believe you are flossing too hard. Bacteria sneak under your swollen gums, and start to attack your jawbone and structures that support your teeth. Plaque hardens to tartar, your gums recede, your teeth become loose and, ultimately, they fall out.
Reversing Gum DiseaseGingivitis is reversible at home, with a regular brushing and flossing routine. However, if your gum disease has progressed below your gum line, professional treatment is needed. Your dentist will be able to effectively remove tartar buildup on your teeth and clean under your gum line, where a regular toothbrush cannot reach. By cleaning out the periodontal pockets, your gums can begin to heal. But you must continue to maintain them at home.
How Floss Can HelpBrushing can only do so much for your teeth, removing plaque and bacteria from the visible surfaces. The bristles cannot reach between the teeth, or under the gum line. This is where floss comes in. When you have gingivitis, flossing at least once a day helps to remove plaque buildup, along with bacteria and any food particles that may be stuck. If your gum disease is more advanced, professional treatment will be needed first.
With deep periodontal pockets, floss cannot properly clean these spaces out, which means your gum disease will not improve. However, after professional treatment, flossing will help to keep away harmful plaque and bacteria that could otherwise impede the healing process.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at 425.486.9111 today.