4 Issues That Can Occur From Not Flossing

Cartoon stating that Americans buy over 3 million miles of dental floss a year.
Image by Authority Dental under CC 2.0

Flossing is part of a healthy oral hygiene routine, but many people have trouble remembering! Not flossing can cause several problems because toothbrushes can’t clean the tight spaces between your teeth. What happens if you don’t floss? Here are four main issues that can occur.

1. Bad Breath

Foods like garlic and onions can cause temporary bad breath, but if your breath is always unpleasant, poor oral hygiene could be the cause. If you don’t floss, food particles and plaque build up in the spaces between your teeth and along your gum line. The bacteria release strong-smelling sulfur compounds. If you want to improve your breath, start flossing!

2. Cavities

Plaque and tartar (which is hardened plaque) are packed with bacteria. The bacteria feed on carbs (like candy, bread, pasta, etc.) and produce acids, which gnaw into your tooth enamel. Once tiny holes form, you have cavities. If you neglect to floss, you can get small cavities between your teeth.

3. Gingivitis

Flossing cleans plaque from between your teeth and along your gum line, but if plaque is allowed to build up, your gums suffer. You may experience symptoms like gum swelling, tenderness, bleeding, and gum recession. These are symptoms of gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease. If you start flossing right away, you can reverse gingivitis. It’s normal for your gums to bleed a little at first, but if you keep flossing regularly, your gums should heal.

4. Severe Gum Disease & Tooth Loss

Unlike gingivitis, periodontitis (advanced gum disease) can only be managed, but not reversed. If the disease progresses far enough, your teeth will loosen and eventually fall out. We have great tooth replacement options at our office, but we want every patient to keep their natural teeth if possible. If you want to avoid tooth loss, floss consistently!

Visit Northside Dental in Raleigh, NC for High-Quality, Affordable Dental Care

Brushing and flossing are both essential parts of a good oral hygiene routine. At our office, we always floss your teeth after we clean and polish your smile. Dr. Metwally and the team will also check for signs of gum disease and answer any questions you have about flossing techniques. Please contact us today to set up an appointment!