Isn’t Brushing Good Enough?
Brushing your teeth is one part of the two-part process of a good daily hygiene routine. Flossing is the other part. Together, these two techniques will help you avoid cavities, gum disease and other common dental problems.
It is true that brushing your teeth prevents gum disease by reducing dental plaque on your enamel. Plaque contains bacteria, and when allowed to remain on the surfaces of your mouth, the bacteria releases toxins that cause cavities and inflammation of the gums. Brushing disrupts the film of bacteria, essentially reducing their effect on your oral health.
While brushing is critical, so too is flossing. Your toothbrush bristles cannot reach in between your teeth and in the area where the gum meets the side of the tooth. Flossing does just that. By gently gliding the floss between your teeth, you are removing the harmful bacteria harbored there. In so doing, you are preventing gum disease.
The Leading Role Plaque Plays In Causing Gum Disease
Bacteria in plaque not only cause tooth cavities, but gum disease as well. Resting on your gums, the bacteria in plaque release toxins. The toxins invade the gum tissue, causing an infection. At first, you may notice that your gums bleed or that they have a deep red, inflamed appearance. As time goes on, the infection spreads and causes the gums to recede, pulling away from your teeth and forming pockets. The bacteria move into these pockets and continue their destruction of the gum tissue and bone beneath your teeth.
Ultimately, advanced gum disease causes your teeth to loosen. You may lose a tooth in the very worst stages. Gum disease is in fact a leading cause of tooth loss among American adults. This scenario of tooth loss is at the extreme end of gum disease, and our dentists can stop the spread of the infection before it gets to this point. But with daily flossing, you can avoid gum disease in the first place.
For gum disease diagnosis and treatment in Tarrytown, NY, please call Advanced Dentistry of Tarrytown at (914) 332-4402 to schedule an appointment with an experienced, caring dentist.