Flossing regularly, for a healthier smile and heart!

heart tooth

It is well known that regular flossing can keep gums clean and healthy. Just try it, if one does not floss for a few consecutive days, it will result in inflamed and bleeding gums. Get back into the flossing routine and the inflammation and bleeding stops within days for those with no underlying systemic health issues! There is really no need to have a big funded multi center research study to realize the importance of flossing in keeping one’s mouth healthy and clean, much like not needing such studies to know one should regularly clip their nails or take showers! Now, it has never been clear as to how flossing may or may prevent tooth decay and the science has been equivocal. It is quite unfortunate that a recent NY Times article misguides the public to believe flossing is not an essential daily health habit simply because it may not prevent tooth decay! The last thing the public needs is another excuse to not do what is best for them. In the case of flossing, the real story is that regular flossing may in fact save one’s life! Over the past 20 years, there has been a growing body of evidence that suggests this possibility. The hard evidence is yet to still crystalize but the link between better oral health and a healthier heart has been documented in numerous studies. A more recent study the Journal of Periodontal Research found that patients with coronary heart disease (CAD) who regularly flossed or used mechanical devices to clean their gums had better outcome for their CAD than those that did not! The idea is that chronic inflammation is linked to both gum disease and CAD. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US and the World with CAD making up the bulk of this! So regular flossing, a simple daily habit that helps keeps your mouth clean, fresh and free of chronic inflammation is linked to keeping your heart healthier and hopefully living longer.

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