Health Matters: Floss Your Way to Good Health

White shiny teeth could be more than just good looks.

While a good looking smile is nice, it could also mean much more like a healthy heart.

So, if you’ve been slacking on the floss, you might have a reason to pick it up again.
Next time you go to the dentist, you may want to listen to doc’s orders.
“Even with excellent technique we’re not 100 percent effective at removing the plaque,” says Essentia Health Oral Surgeon, Dr. Ryan Smart.
And that plaque isn’t just dirty, in the long term it could be downright dangerous leading to various gum diseases.
“In periodontal disease you get collections of bacteria and plaque and calculus around the tooth,” says Smart.
And that bacteria doesn’t just stay in your mouth.
“Then you have a constant source of bacteria getting into the blood stream. Bacteria putting them at risk for seeding their heart and causing an infection either in the heart or somewhere else,” says Dr. Smart.
But the worst part about it, you may not even realize you have a gum disease.
“People think well if I’m not in pain it doesn’t hurt. Must not be a problem. That’s not necessarily true until its late stage disease,” says Dr. Smart.
Doctor Smart tells his patients to care for your mouth like any other part of the body.
“Just like if you had a chronic wound on your arm or leg you certainly wouldn’t ignore that. That’s an infection in that part of your body,” says Dr. Smart.
And these infections have some high risks.
“Pregnant women with periodontal disease are at higher risk for low birth weight pre-term pregnancies and low birth rate babies,” says Dr. Ryan Smart.
Like Dr. Smart said, even the best brushers will still have left over plaque.

To make sure you keep your mouth healthy and clean it’s suggested you visit the dentist every six months.

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