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Gasoline Alley Dental
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What Happens When You Don't Floss

April 16, 2020
Posted By: Gasoline Alley Dental

Has it been a while since you flossed?

Most Americans tend to forget to floss regularly due to hectic lives—or not fully appreciating how important it is for oral health. The bacteria that sticks to your teeth and gums can cause severe damage to your general health as well. At Gasoline Alley Dental, the best way to prevent dental emergencies is by practicing preventive oral care. 

Daily brushing and flossing can help get rid of plaque that builds up daily, but only regular dental cleanings with Dr. Darren Whitehead in Red Deer County can effectively eliminate build-up that your Toothbrush and floss cannot reach. Dental exams every six months or as recommended allow us to identify oral problems like decay and infection that can have a severe impact on your body if left untreated. 

Your Toothbrush Can't Reach All Areas of Your Mouth‚Äč

While brushing can address most surfaces of your teeth, there are some hard-to-reach places where bacteria can hide.

When bacteria and food are allowed to remain, they can lead to bad breath, tooth decay, gum disease, and more. 

Bad Breath and Not Flossing

Brushing your teeth is excellent for removing a lot of plaque, but the bristles cannot get in between the teeth. Flossing can remove bacteria, food debris, and plaque from these tight spaces.

When food stays in your mouth, it begins to smell terrible. That, in turn, can make your breath smell when you speak or open your mouth, a characteristic most of us do not want to be associated with. 

Plaque and Your Immune System

Plaque that builds up can trigger your immune system to attack and fight the bacteria along your teeth and gums. Gums become red, bloody, or swollen as a response from your body to protect your smile.

Bacteria in Your Mouth Can Travel Your Bloodstream

When your mouth cannot fight harmful bacteria, it can start traveling to other systems in your body to wreak havoc. Bacteria involved in gum disease can move through the bloodstream and cause inflammation in the blood vessels. 

Gum Disease Is Linked to Heart Disease

All parts of our body connect in ways we may never have imagined. Your mouth and oral health can have a profound impact on the health of your heart. Bad bacteria from your mouth can travel through inflamed tissues and accumulate on the heart valves, creating plaques that can cause heart disease, strokes, heart attacks, and more. 

Taking care of your teeth and gums can decrease your risk of heart disease. 

Oral Bacteria Can Affect Your Lungs

Bacteria loves to spread and take up residency where it can, especially if the immune system is compromised or weakened.

Without a barrier or defense, an oral infection can spread from the mouth to the lungs, often causing pneumonia. 

Gum Disease Can Cause Bone Loss

Periodontal disease often occurs when we neglect our flossing. This disease can lead to bacteria gradually eating away gum tissue and bone that surround teeth—possibly leading to tooth loss.

Flossing Can Prevent Many Oral and General Health Issues

While flossing can seem redundant after a diligent brush and mouth wash, it is critical to your well-being. Your smile may look white and clean, but the damage may not be immediately noticeable. If your gums look inflamed or swollen, you may need to schedule an appointment with Dr. Whitehead to eliminate any harmful bacteria.