Here’s What Happens When you Don’t Floss Daily

flossing teeth

San Francisco and Marin CA

Most people know you’re supposed to use dental floss every day, but many don’t use floss as routinely as they should. One study found that one third of American adults never flossed at all. Not using floss can make you significantly more susceptible to tooth decay and many other oral issues, potentially having a negative effect on your overall health. Read on as your San Francisco family dentist at Glen Park Dental takes a look at some unfortunate issues you may experience if you don’t floss on a regular basis.

Tartar accumulation: When the spaces between your teeth are not cleaned regularly, food particles get stuck there and are broken down into acids by the bacteria present in your mouth. These acids can damage your enamel, the protective outer layer of your tooth structure, and the plaque buildup will eventually harden into tartar. Once plaque forms into tartar, it cannot be removed simply by brushing and flossing, but requires a professional dental cleaning to remove.

Sensitive gums: If you have strong, healthy gums, you shouldn’t encounter any bleeding when you eat, brush or floss. If you do see any blood, you may have gum disease. If left untreated, gum disease can cause additional serious issues, such as elongated teeth and complete tooth loss.

Bad breath: Remember those food particles we mentioned earlier? If they’re left to accumulate between your teeth, they decay and emit a foul-smelling odor that can cause bad breath. After all, something that’s been in your mouth a few days is likely to develop an odor.

Tooth loss: As stated before, a lack of flossing can lead to gum disease, which can weaken the structure of your teeth. Once a tooth’s structure is compromised, complete tooth loss is possible–even likely. With early intervention, by treating gum disease when it’s in the initial stage called gingivitis, the damage from gum disease can be treated. However, if gum disease progresses into its advanced stage, called periodontitis, then irreversible damage will occur.

Pregnancy complications: During a pregnancy, you have to take special care to monitor what is going into your body. Bacteria that’s in the mouth can be absorbed into the bloodstream of both the mother and the baby, which can cause a number of issues with the pregnancy and birth.

Discolored teeth: If you want the pearly whites of your dreams, routine brushing and flossing is vital. Not practicing these things will let the plaque stay on your teeth for extended periods of time. With significant buildup of plaque and tartar, tooth decay will cause your teeth to become yellowed and discolored, especially between teeth where they meet.

Cavities: Flossing is the only way to clean those tight spaces between your teeth. Cavities will form over time in these spaces if your flossing is neglected, and those areas of decay will weaken the structural integrity of your teeth. Cavities can be mitigated with fillings, but the restored tooth will still be weaker than it was originally. This can make your teeth more likely to have chips, breaks or fractures.

General dental care in San Francisco and Marin in California

To summarize, flossing is an absolutely essential part of one’s oral hygiene routine to keep your teeth healthy and strong. Maybe you are experiencing any of the issues discussed above. Perhaps it’s time for your biannual teeth cleaning–or past time. No matter your situation, Glen Park Dental is here to serve you. Visit us online or call us at (415) 585-1500 to schedule an appointment today.