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Why Flossing is Essential to Good Oral Hygiene | Annapolis Dentist

While we all know toothbrushing is critical to a healthy mouth, it is equally important to understand the benefits of daily flossing. According to a National Health and Nutrition Examination survey, only 30 percent of Americans floss daily, and 33 percent say they never do. This thinking needs to change.  

No matter how well you brush, the bristles can’t get between teeth. If you have ever brushed until every surface feels marble smooth and then notice flecks of food when you floss, you can see why removing debris between the teeth is so important.  

Why Flossing Works 

Cleaning between teeth removes plaque that can lead to tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. These conditions usually begin with a bacterial infection in the gingival tissue. If left untreated, it eventually destroys both the tissue and the underlying bone.   

Bacterial infection in gingival tissue causes the body to create an inflammatory response that contributes to gum disease. It can deepen the pockets between teeth and gums and eventually cause the gums and jawbone to recede. Without adequate support, teeth could eventually loosen and fall out.  

It is also important to remove plaque because it can harden into calculus (tartar), a substance that can only be removed by a dentist. Daily flossing is a simple way to ward off tartar and keep your teeth healthy. 

Flossing Helps Overall Health 

By maintaining proper oral health, you can help prevent other health problems. The American Dental Association and American Heart Association both acknowledge a link between cardiovascular problems and periodontal disease. Recent research published by the National Institutes of Health show people with gum disease have a 20 percent higher chance of developing heart disease. The most prominent theory is that gum disease causes inflammation elsewhere in the body and narrowing of the arteries. 

Other studies suggest links between periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, and some forms of cancer. Research also shows that people with diabetes, who are already at greater risk of infection and inflammation, develop gum disease at higher rates than non-diabetics. Those who manage their blood sugar successfully, however, lower their risk of gum problems. 

Whether you use waxed, unwaxed, or tape types of dental floss, the most important point is that you use it at least once a day to prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay. Contact our dental office to schedule your next appointment and stay on top of your oral health at home.  

Patton Smiles of Annapolis
Phone: (410) 295-1000
104 Forbes St., Suite 204
Annapolis, MD 21401

Annapolis Dentist

The Link Between Gum Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis | Dentist in Annapolis, MD

Recent studies have linked periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease, and rheumatoid  arthritis (RA). Both are inflammatory conditions that prompt the immune system to attack the body. Our  team can teach you more about this connection and how you can protect your oral health if you have  been diagnosed with RA.  

Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful swelling of joints. Periodontal disease can cause swollen gums, infection  and tooth loss. Both are the result of inflammation, which is the body’s natural means of destroying  harmful bacteria and viruses.  

Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissue that holds your teeth in their place. It is typically caused  by poor oral health habits that permit a sticky film called plaque to build up and harden on teeth (known  as calculus, or tartar). If this is not removed, infection sets in, ultimately resulting in loose and missing  teeth. In this case, the body’s inflammatory response is warranted. 

In RA, the body mistakenly activates the immune system against the body’s own joints. This is known as  an autoimmune response. The link between arthritis and gum disease suggests that poor oral health may  actually prompt the immune system to attack the joints. The scientific journal PLoS Pathogens reports  that porphyromonas gingivalis, a bacterium that causes periodontal disease, can cause RA and make it  more severe.  

While scientists continue to study the links between autoimmune conditions and periodontal disease, they  also report positive findings: When RA patients successfully treat gum disease, joint swelling and pain  diminish.  

If you are among the 1.3 million Americans diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, it is important to keep up  with your at-home oral care. This includes twice-daily brushing and daily flossing. The conundrum you  may face is that arthritis can make accurate brushing and flossing difficult, and this compounds the  problem.  

● Talk to our dentist or an occupational therapist about using a toothbrush with a special handle  ● Experiment with different kinds of floss until you find one that is easy to use  ● Toothpaste that comes in a pump instead of a tube can be easier for arthritic hands to manage 

If you have concerns about your gums and rheumatoid arthritis, our team is happy to help you better  manage your oral health. Schedule your next appointment today

Patton Smiles of Annapolis
Phone: (410) 295-1000
104 Forbes St., Suite 204
Annapolis, MD 21401

Dentist in Annapolis

We Welcome New Patients

Patton Smiles

104 Forbes St. Suite 204
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 295-1000

Providing Dental Care For the Communities of:

Annapolis, Admiral Heights, West Annapolis, Loretta Heights, Eastport, Forest Villa & surrounding areas

Convenient Office Hours:

Monday: 7:00am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 7:00am - 5:00pm
Wednesday: 7:00am - 4:00pm
Thursday: 7:00am - 4:00pm
Friday: By Appointment only

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  • America Dental Association
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • American Dental Society of Anesthesiology: ADSA
  • Maryland State Dental Association

Annapolis, MD Dentist

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I am very pleased that I found Patton Smiles. My husband and I have received outstanding care and the staff is wonderful! We never have to wait when we have an appointment and all of the staff are very professional and caring. The office is immaculate. I highly recommend this dental practice.

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Dentist in Annapolis

I’ve been seeing Dr Patton for several years, he is always smiling and will go above and beyond to help with your needs. The staff is amazing and always helpful. I would and have recommended Patton Smiles to several of my friends who also go there.

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Dentist in Annapolis

By far the best dentist office, service and staff in all of Maryland!! Dr. Patton is great and passionate about his work. The staff is so kind and pleasant to deal with. I’ve referred everyone I know here!

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104 Forbes Street
Suite 204
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 295-1000