Can Flossing Help Reduce Your Risk of Gum Disease?

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Our leading periodontists at Premier Periodontics in Bellevue, WA, understand the importance of good oral hygiene in maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is a common oral health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. The condition occurs when bacteria in the mouth form a sticky film called plaque, which builds up on teeth and eventually hardens into tartar. This can lead to inflammation, infection, and damage to the gums, teeth, and bones that support them. While brushing your teeth twice a day is important, it is not enough to remove all of the plaque and tartar buildup from your mouth. That's where flossing comes in.

How can flossing help reduce your risk of gum disease?

Flossing is an essential part of good oral hygiene and can help reduce the risk of gum disease by removing plaque and food particles from between teeth and along the gumline where your toothbrush cannot reach. When left in place, plaque can irritate and inflame the gums, leading to the first stage of gum disease called gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease that can cause tooth loss and damage to the bone and tissue that support your teeth. At Premier Periodontics, our team of highly experienced dentists offers periodontal treatments at each of our Washington locations, including Bellevue, Everett, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Olympia, and Redmond.

How to floss effectively

Flossing is recommended to our patients to help maintain healthy gums. To floss effectively, you should use about 18 inches of floss, winding most of it around one finger of each hand and holding the remaining section tightly between your thumbs and forefingers. Gently slide the floss between each tooth, curving it around the base of the tooth and gently sliding it up and down along the side of each tooth and just beneath the gumline. Use a fresh section of floss for each tooth to avoid spreading bacteria from one tooth to another. It's also important to avoid snapping the floss against your gums, which can cause injury and bleeding.

By upholding healthy gums through regular flossing and dental checkups, you can reduce your risk of developing gum disease and avoid the more severe stages of the condition, such as periodontitis. Flossing is a simple yet effective way to help protect your oral health and sustain healthy teeth and gums for a lifetime.

Additional benefits of flossing

Along with reducing your risk of gum disease, flossing has several other benefits for your oral health. It can help remove food particles and debris from between teeth, freshen your breath, and even reduce your risk of developing cavities. Some studies have even suggested that flossing may be beneficial for overall health, as it can reduce inflammation in the body that has been linked to a variety of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Get your gums in shape — Take action today

Our periodontist specialists at Premier Periodontics recommend that you floss at least once a day to maintain good oral hygiene and reduce your risk of gum disease. As a result, your teeth and gums can stay healthy, and you can avoid the more severe stages of gum disease. If you haven't been flossing regularly, start slowly and build up to a daily routine. Schedule an appointment with our professional periodontal team for additional guidance and tips for effective flossing at one of our Washington locations, including Bellevue, Everett, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Olympia, and Redmond.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.