If not removed from teeth, plaque with the help of saliva turns into calculus which no amount of brushing or flossing can get rid of. Once calculus has formed on the outer surface of teeth, it can only be removed with specialised dental instruments and the expertise of a Dentist Sheffield.
To understand why flossing is such a critical part of in-home oral grooming, it is helpful to first understand how plaque and gum-destroying bacteria are allowed to accumulate. While brushing your teeth is helpful in cleaning teeth, some plaque remains behind and in-between teeth where it is impossible for toothbrush bristles to reach. It is in these ‘hidden’ areas of the mouth that create ideal environments for bacteria and plaque to flourish and wreak havoc. The NHS recommends flossing as an integral part of maintaining oral health as dental floss remains one of the best products to dislodge food particles stuck in between teeth. Flossing and interdental toothbrushes are designed to get into these nooks and crannies that are out of reach of the ordinary toothbrush.
The role of flossing in preventing gum disease
According to a report on an Oral health survey of adults attending dental practices published on the GOV.UK website, 53 per cent of people aged 16 years and older had gingival (gum) bleeding while 27 per cent had tooth decay. Generally speaking, one of the most effective ways to prevent gum disease is by keeping gums healthy through regular brushing combined with flossing. This dual combination of in-home oral hygiene techniques works on two fronts to prevent bleeding gums which is a common worrying symptom of possible gum problems.
Why bleeding gums is cause for concern
Dental practitioners need to measure the dental health of a patient and one way to do this is to use a special technique of poking the gum area to see if they bleed which helps them to identify how healthy the gums are.
Bleeding gums is a common tell-tale sign of existing plaque and calculus accumulation. This may also point to a patient being at greater risk of developing periodontal disease in the future if preventive measures are not put into place. Periodontal conditions should be avoided at all costs as this has serious consequences for not only the dental health of the patient but for their overall general health too.
Advanced gum disease has far-reaching consequences for a patient. In addition to losing one’s teeth, patients’ smiles can be affected in the following ways too:
- Teeth may take on a yellowish or brownish appearance.
- Gums shrink away to leave gaps exposed in the dental arch.
- Patients may develop bad breath.
Who flossing is recommended for
- Patients who still retain most of their teeth.
- Patients whose teeth are tightly pressed together.
- There is no evidence of significant gum recession.
Patients should always seek the advice of their dental practitioner should they experience issues with flossing their teeth. It must be borne in mind that it does take time practising flossing before one can become proficient in it.