“Not as often as I should” is probably the number one response to the question, “Do you floss?”. The reason we ask that question is to help us determine your risk factors for decay and periodontal disease. Periodontal disease can range from mild gum inflammation to serious disease that results in tooth loss. Some people are more susceptible than others, depending on their risk factors. Smoking is considered the most significant risk factor associated with gum disease. It can also decrease the chance of successful treatment. Diabetes, other illnesses, medications, and genetic susceptibility are also considered risk factors.
Symptoms may include red, swollen gums that bleed, bad breath, sensitive teeth, and receding gums. Fortunately, there is treatment for gum disease. It will be detected by the dentist and hygienist using a “ruler” or probe to measure pocket depths. The greater the number, the deeper the pocket. After diagnosis, a plan is devised to best treat the patient. It may include simple scaling and plaque removal, to deep cleaning (scaling and root planing.)
Success highly depends upon the patient and their care at home. If proper care is done routinely, an improvement in oral health will be the outcome. Powered toothbrushes, floss holders and even waterpiks are all considered good adjuncts in aiding in your overall oral health. Find what works for you and go for it…daily!