With New Year's upon us, the pledge to start new habits returns for most of us, but the ability to live up to those pledges, often, does not.
Time and time again, we see our patients have a reliable pattern of brushing their teeth daily, but not flossing. While our patients may exhibit excellent brushing habits, those that skip flossing still experience more dental problems between the teeth and below the gumline than those who do it daily.
Some people may not floss because when they do there is blood presented. Most likely this occurs from the very fact that a person isn't flossing or is doing it incorrectly. The buildup of bacteria that irritates gum tissue causing gingivitis is an inflammatory response. Left unchecked, this is the precursor to periodontal disease.
After just a few days of flossing, the bleeding should stop; removing bacteria and stimulating the gum tissue improves oral health. Having trouble creating this new habit? Try piggy-backing it to another routine. Do you have a drink of water before bed? Write yourself a note, whenever you drink your water, that then you will floss. After a few weeks of doing these two things together, a new habit is formed.
Sometimes bleeding gums are a sign of other problems, such as vitamin deficiency or stress. Dry mouth and smoking are also linked to bleeding gums and periodontal disease.
Developing good oral hygiene habits and visiting your dentist regularly promotes good health. Make it your New Year's resolution!
Lake Grove Dental
16455 Boones Ferry Rd.
Lake Oswego, OR 97035