For years, dentists have told their patients that regular brushing and flossing is a vital part of a healthy oral health routine. And to be sure, these practices help reduce plaque buildup, fight gum disease, and promote strong oral health. However, it is possible to overdo it, and there is some danger to flossing too much, particularly for certain types of people.
Some people, rather than moving the floss up the side of the tooth—and thereby scraping plaque up and away from the tooth surface—use a sawing motion when they floss. This can not only prove to be ineffective in removing deposits between the teeth; it can actually cause damage to the gum tissue as well.
Other people may roughly force floss in between their teeth (the proper way is to gently work it in). This, too, can result in gum tissue injury.
Patients who have already developed advanced periodontal disease could be doing more harm than good by flossing. This is because their gum tissue is already compromised beyond the point where flossing will restore it to the condition it should be in. Thus, there is not much benefit to flossing and an increased risk of causing injury.
Patients such as this should consult with their dentists about a treatment program that will work for their situation. Simply forcing dental floss into the periodontal pockets may not do much good for them—although they likely would benefit greatly from using an oral irrigator to flush out pockets of bacteria below the gum line.
Nobody is saying that you should not floss. On the contrary, under the proper conditions, flossing (when performed correctly) can be a great aid in fighting against gum disease and helping to keep your teeth clean. However, keep in mind that every situation is different, and you should consult with your dentist about your flossing habits. If you have any questions, or if you would like to learn more, please call us today at (804) 554-5599.