Have you ever wondered why certain areas of your gums would bleed during flossing and some do not? Or why dental floss gets stuck or shredded only on certain parts of your teeth? These occurrences actually tell you something about the condition of your teeth.
One misconception that people have regarding flossing their teeth is that flossing would cut their gums and cause bleeding. They thus avoid flossing or only floss irregularly. In fact, bleeding during flossing may be an indication of mild gum inflammation.
When dental floss gets stuck in between the teeth, it is a tell-tale sign that there could be presence of tooth decay or accumulation of tartar (calculus) on the surface of the tooth. Tartar cannot be removed by just brushing and flossing and can only be removed during a professional dental cleaning. Tartar can compromise the overall health of the gums and the bone surrounding the teeth. As a result, the tooth can loosen and fall off.
The irregularity on a tooth’s surface could be due to the formation of tooth decay, which will cause the floss to get stuck or shred during flossing. When a cavity has formed, a visit to the dentist is inevitable.
Rough and ill-fitting dental restorations can also be the reason why shredding and fraying of the dental floss occurs. Ideally, teeth should be easily flossed even with dental restoration. If you are experiencing this, a visit to the dentist is helpful to check on the condition of your dental restoration. Your dentist will also be able to provide special instructions on how the restorations should be cleaned, how to use the dental floss or recommend the type of dental floss to use that is most suitable in your situation.
The take home message is, when you are not flossing or experiencing the issues above when flossing, it is likely that your teeth are not being cleaned thoroughly. There is thus a higher risk of tooth decay or gum disease. If you have not been to the dentist in awhile, it is probably time to get your dental health checked. You want to keep those pearlie whites bright and clean …