Thanksgiving will be here soon. We are thankful for many things — our family, our friends, the delicious food that we get to eat, and our health. Part of staying healthy means doing what we should to keep our mouths free from gum disease and other oral health problems.
We’re also thankful for the day after Thanksgiving. Many people know this as Black Friday and the unofficial kickoff to the Christmas shopping season. It’s also National Flossing Day, and that’s what we will be discussing today.
Flossing made the news for some of the wrong reasons earlier this year. The staff of Atlanta West Dentistry wants to clear up some misconceptions about flossing and reiterate why it should be part of your daily oral hygiene routine.
Regular dental cleanings and examinations at our dentist office in Marietta, GA, should also be part of your oral health habits.
To schedule an appointment, call us or contact us online.
Several news organizations reported what was probably welcome news to many patients. Headlines proclaimed that flossing was unnecessary or provided no benefits.
If you read the whole story or did more research, however, you probably figured out that the reality was more complicated than what the headlines stated.
A review of many studies showed that many provided insufficient evidence between the gum disease prevention and flossing. However, the biggest criticism may have been the manner in which these studies were conducted rather than the research.
In more controlled studies, the results were more promising.
One such example was a long-term study in which dental hygienists visited a school five days a week to floss the teeth of students. That study showed that students whose teeth were flossed correctly were less likely than their peers to develop periodontal disease and tooth decay.
It is important to note that there are limits to what flossing can do.
Flossing can be beneficial in preventing and even reversing gingivitis, which is a mild form of gum disease.
For patients with periodontitis, flossing is not going to get rid of their infection. In those cases, you should call our dentist office if you live in or near Marietta, GA. Our dental professionals can give you a periodontal treatment and answer any questions you have about preventing your gum disease from coming back.
We don’t want any patient who comes to Atlanta West Dentistry to have gum disease, and we want to provide treatment as soon as possible for anyone who does.
The fight against gum disease should be fought on two fronts:
➤ Preventing Gum Disease
Some people are more likely to develop gum disease than others. People with diabetes, people with chronic dry mouth, woman who are going through hormone change (puberty, pregnancy, menopause), people with a family history of gum disease, and tobacco users are among the groups who are more susceptible to periodontal problems.
But everyone should be following the ADA recommendations to brush twice daily and to clean between your teeth and gums every day. Brushing removes many bacteria, which are what cause both tooth decay and gum disease.
Bacteria feed on the sugars in the foods that we eat. Flossing or using another interdental cleaner (flossers, water flossers, and interdental brushes) is an effective way to remove food particles that may become stuck between your teeth.
By removing those particles, you are making it harder for bacteria to thrive and grow inside your mouth.
➤ Treating Gum Disease
If you already have gum disease, you may notice symptoms like bleeding gums, sore gums, receding gums, or (worst of all) loose teeth. We encourage you to make an appointment at Atlanta West Dentistry if you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms.
Periodontal treatments are more effective when we treat gum disease in its early stages. We take a comprehensive approach to gum disease. We don’t just want to get rid of the infection; we also want to make it harder for it to return.
Scaling and root planing is often the first step. This deep cleaning removes plaque and tartar buildup from the roots of your teeth.
Perio laser therapy is a way to remove infected teeth without surgery. This also preserves more of your health gum tissues and requires less recovery time than surgery would.
Antibiotic gels can help your gums fend off potential new infections while they heal, and follow-up appointments can help assure that you are on track.
The bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay live in your mouth. You will never eliminate them completely, which is why you need to continue to brush, floss, and make regular visits to Atlanta West Dentistry.
To schedule a cleaning or to get treated for periodontal disease, call (770) 635-5336 or fill out our online form. We look forward to seeing you and your healthy smile at our dentist office in Marietta, GA.
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