One of the major causes of tooth loss today is due to periodontal disease or gingivitis as it is commonly called. Gum disease is caused by tartar. Tartar is what plaque turns into when it is not removed. One of the most difficult areas from which to remove plaque is in between the teeth. Because plaque turns into tartar literally overnight it is very important to floss twice a day in order to maintain healthy teeth and gums. Unfortunately because flossing seems tedious and time consuming few people floss as often as they should. A good time to floss is while watching TV. Once you get the hang of flossing, you don’t need a mirror to see what you are doing.
When flossing be careful not to snap the floss up through the teeth as you can cut your gums that way. Use a gentle sawing motion to work the floss between the teeth, when you reach the gum line curve the floss against the wall of the tooth to remove the plaque. If your gums bleed initially do not be alarmed. If you have not been flossing regularly the gums need to be conditioned. Tenderness after flossing the first several times is normal as well. Warm saltwater rinses will help to relieve this tenderness. Bleeding and tender gums are an indication of gum disease, if these symptoms persist after one week of daily flossing is sure to contact your dentist for proper treatment. Periodontal disease will not go away by itself and can cause serious problems in the mouth due to bone loss and resulting loss of teeth. A good home care program along with routine dental visits will certainly do much to ensure a lifelong healthy smile.