"To Floss or Not to Floss"... Is that the Real Question?
August 01, 2016
Following a recent article from the Associated Press, there have been reports in the media that there is little evidence that flossing is required for good dental health. We would like to give you our perspective on bacterial plaque removal and periodontal health.
You are not healthy unless you are periodontally healthy
We know that bacterial plaque causes periodontal bone and tissue loss that can be disfiguring, cause loss of function, and affect your overall health. As stated by the researcher from the Associated Press article, removal of bacterial plaque on a regular basis is essential. Flossing is only one method of removing bacteria from between your teeth but certainly not the only method.
CDC reports nearly half of adults over the age of 30 have periodontal disease
We know that according to the Centers for Disease Control’s most recent data, nearly 50% of adults over the age of 30 suffer from ongoing periodontitis and this disease is still the major cause of tooth loss in the US. For patients over the age of 60 the incidence of periodontitis climbs to nearly 70%.
Flossing manages the risk of developing periodontal disease and controls progression of the disease following treatment
We know that in some patients there is a genetic susceptibility to this chronic disease while others may be resistant. This is not unlike other chronic diseases of aging such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes. For example while we understand that a high fat diet and lack of exercise are primary risk factors, there are some patients that are genetically resistant to heart disease. We all know patients who, despite smoking, live a long, cancer-free life. There are obese patients who despite having the primary risk factors do not develop diabetes. Periodontal diseases are similar in that there is a segment of the population that are resistant to developing periodontitis despite having a high risk factors present such as unremoved bacterial plaque. Risk factors are an indication that you are likely to develop disease- not that you will have the disease. You see, just like eating right, exercise and other healthy lifestyle behaviors, flossing manages your risk for developing and, after treatment, controlling your periodontitis.
A comprehensive periodontal evaluation is recommended for adults over 30 years of age
The American Academy of Periodontology recommends that all dentists (not just periodontists) conduct a comprehensive periodontal evaluation at least on a yearly basis for all adults over 30. Your dentist may refer you to a periodontist. A periodontist is a specialist in treating periodontal diseases and conditions with three years of additional training after dental school. Periodontists have advanced training in managing your periodontitis, regenerating lost bone and tissue from recession, and performing dental implant surgery. You do not have to lose your teeth to this devastating, chronic disease. Periodontists see patients referred by dentists, physicians or see patients without referral who are concerned about their periodontal health.
TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR PERIODONTAL HEALTH AND CALL US TODAY FOR A COMPREHENSIVE PERIODONTAL EVALUATION. You can reach our office to schedule an appointment at: (714) 441-0436.