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Dr. David A. Mugford
1660 Village Green
Crofton, MD 21114

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The Impact of Flossing on Advancing Gum Disease

Posted on 6/15/2017 by David Mugford
A woman flossing her teeth.
Taking care of your mouth is important not only to maintaining a beautiful smile, but also to ensuring its health, and the health of your whole body. You have been told time and again that along with brushing, flossing is key to keeping your teeth and gums healthy and strong.

However, sometimes, despite your best efforts, gum disease can still happen. So, what happens when you continue flossing even though your gum disease is advancing?

What is Gum Disease?

Gum disease is a serious oral health issue, and can be caused by a number of different things, including smoking, certain health conditions, genetics and poor oral hygiene. It starts out quietly, as gingivitis, and is almost completely undetectable.

The only signs you may notice are red, swollen gums that bleed when you floss. As it progresses, plaque on your teeth hardens into tartar.

Your gums start to pull away from your teeth, leaving gaps for bacteria to travel into. Once below the gum line, they attack your gums from the inside, your teeth and your jawbone. Known as periodontitis, you can suffer from chronic bad breath, bone loss, increased tooth decay and eventual tooth loss.

Can Gum Disease Be Reversed?

Gingivitis is easily reversed with proper oral hygiene, brushing twice a day and daily flossing. In many instances, it helps to add extra sessions into your day. A little extra effort on your part can solve your gum disease issue at home.

However, if your gum disease has progressed beyond gingivitis, no amount of at home care is going to be enough. Flossing will help to remove new food particles and plaque from between your teeth, but it is not enough to get rid of tartar (hardened plaque that requires professional removal), nor can it reach the deepened pockets caused by gum recession. It can help you to control plaque and bacteria, but will not solve the problem.

Getting Treatment
In order to get rid of the damage done by advanced stages of gum disease and allow your mouth to heal, you will need professional treatment.

Your dentist will be able to assess the severity of your situation and make a treatment plan that will best serve your needs. As a part of your treatment, maintaining your normal brushing and flossing regimen is critical.

Daily brushing and flossing can help to prevent the onset of gum disease. Visiting your dentist regularly can further help by giving your teeth an extra thorough cleaning and checking for early warning signs.

Should you notice early symptoms between your biannual visits, be sure to contact our office right away.

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