Flossing your teeth is kind of like eating less sugar, getting up at the right time, and stretching your back regularly: the professionals all tell us it’s important, but it’s hard to always listen! What can help is perhaps gaining a better understanding of why flossing is so important.
What can make matters worse, we know that our common excuses, like not having enough time, are nothing more than common excuses. In truth, the reason we don’t floss as we should is that we don’t understand why it’s important.
The purpose of flossing is to keep bacteria away from your gum line. On a more negative note, failing to floss allows bacteria to accumulate in your gum line and cause serious gum disease.
While we could get into specifics like gingivitis, periodontitis, and peri-implantitis, the term “gum disease” is rather general. Basically, it applies to any sort of disease that involves bacteria accumulating and causing the following symptoms to your gums:
If left untreated, these diseases progress to later, more harmful stages:
These symptoms and problems you can run into are not fun. If left unchecked, they can cause pain upon eating, talking, or even just sitting still. Additionally, they eventually look very unattractive, and they lead to expensive dental treatments.
The Cost of NOT Flossing
While gum disease is ugly and painful, we haven’t even talked about financial costs. Treating gingivitis can cost upwards to about $2,000, periodontitis costs around $4,000, and if bone restoration is required, it can cost over $400 per tooth.
Alternatively, you can buy dental floss for about $3.
The Treatment For Not Flossing
If you acquire a gum disease due to not flossing, your dentist starts with a technique called scaling, which involves scraping away at the base of your teeth to remove harmful bacteria. Later, if unsuccessful, the dentist applies a technique called root planing that involves surgically cutting into the gums around your teeth to clean and restore the roots of your teeth that have been impacted by bacteria.
The good news is that if you have neglected to floss your teeth and now have gum disease, our experts at the Dental Partners of Boston are specially trained in scaling and root planing. They can keep you comfortable and confident while they help you get onto the road to health.