Erie, Harborcreek and Millcreek, PA
Controversy over whether flossing is really all that necessary for good dental hygiene erupted in the last two years when the New York Times reported that there was no scientific evidence which supported the claim that daily flossing prevents periodontal disease. However, dental professionals all agree that flossing helps reduce gingivitis, the first stage of periodontal disease. So what are the consequences of not flossing?
Bleeding Gums are no Fluke
Bleeding gums, the first stage of periodontal disease, result from inadequate brushing and flossing. Healthy gums do not bleed after eating or brushing your teeth. At the first sign of tender, red or swollen gums, see a dentist because this condition won’t clear up on its own. While good oral hygiene can help prevent gum disease, starting to practice it at any time can also reverse the progress of gingivitis into becoming periodontal disease.
Tartar is not a type of Steak
Tartar is a plaque that has hardened on your teeth from not flossing or brushing adequately. In fact, you can’t brush off tartar—only dental tools can remove it. Untreated, it can lead to premature tooth loss. Flossing can help get rid of plaque. Getting your teeth cleaned at the dentist will remove all tartar buildup, although you should return for these cleanings at least once every six months since everyone gets tartar buildup to some degree, even the most avid brushers and flossers.
Gingivitis and Cardiovascular Disease
What has gingivitis to do with your heart? Bacteria are the culprit in dental diseases, and the mouth is where bacteria can grow and affect other areas of the body. It turns out that people with cardiovascular disease have higher levels of bacteria in their blood. The swollen and inflamed gums of gingivitis release bacteria into your bloodstream where it can cause hardened arteries. Hardened arteries constrict blood flow, and this can lead to heart attack or stroke.
Dementia from Dental Bacteria?
Yep, those pathogens from dental bacteria can travel through the bloodstream to the brain. This can lead to an inflammatory state in the brain, which exacerbates cognitive decline. A study in the UK examined the dental health of 60 Alzheimer’s patients. When the study was repeated in 6 months, the cognitive decline had increased six-fold!
Inhaling can be Dangerous
What happens if you inhale dental bacteria? Bacteria doesn’t just get released into your bloodstream, you can inhale it into your lungs. The warm, moist environment in the mouth fosters bacterial growth. Such bacteria in the lungs can lead to pneumonia and other chronic respiratory conditions such as COPD. Depending on your age and general health, pneumonia can be fatal.
At work, the one with bad breath
Although the possibility that these diseases can turn up later on in life is scary, being the one known around the office today as Bad Breath Betty is not a title anyone wants. Dental bacteria can change the composition of your mouth and cause chronic halitosis. Even mouthwash rinses can’t defeat the power of this kind of bad breath. Even though morning breath or the bad breath caused by garlic can be overwhelming, these types of bad breath go away. Halitosis does not until you seek professional dental treatment.
Dental Cleaning in Erie
If all of these consequences have scared you, we can help! Our staff of friendly professionals can help reverse these problems. We can provide you with an expert cleaning. You can take charge too by starting right away practicing good brushing—two minutes twice a day, and flossing daily. Call your dentist at Laser Dentistry of Erie at (814) 825-2615 for an appointment today!