The benefits of flossing for your oral health are quite undeniable. Floss removes plaque and bacteria from tight spaces between your teeth, keeping your gums clean and healthy. Research shows, however, that flossing’s benefits extend even beyond your gums, and can actually play a vital role in preventing heart disease.
The Link Between Gum Disease and Heart Disease
When bacteria collect between teeth and on the gums, you can develop gum disease. The least severe form of gum disease is gingivitis, the symptoms of which include redness, swelling, and irritation of the gums. If left untreated, it can eventually develop into periodontitis, which destroys the bone and can result in tooth loss. It can also put you at a higher risk for a heart attack or stroke.
Why is this? When bacteria seep through your tooth root, they enter your bloodstream and travel to the rest of your body. Some research shows that these bacteria can end up in your heart’s arteries and clog them. Another theory is that these bacteria cause constant inflammation in the bloodstream, weakening your heart’s response to inflammatory attacks.
Is it True?
While some scientists dispute the idea that bacteria from your gums can affect your heart, there is no doubt that flossing is good for your oral health, and good oral health contributes to good overall health. You may not feel compelled to floss in order to prevent heart disease, but you should floss in order to prevent gum disease.
How to Floss Properly
In order to maximize the benefits of flossing, take a large string of floss and wrap it around your two index fingers. Floss between each tooth by making gentle up-and-down motions in order to make sure that you are removing bacteria from under the gums. Use clean sections of the floss as you move along your mouth.
Since there are no negative affects of flossing in general, you shouldn’t stop flossing just yet. Regular dental cleanings and gum care treatments are a great way to keep your teeth clean and healthy too. Here at Today’s Dental, we want to help you have your healthiest smile!