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July 6, 2014

Floss First!

As a holistic dentist, it is not uncommon to meet with many patients seeking an alternative opinion on their dental problems. Root canals and metal fillings are at the top of the list, but it is quickly followed by gum (periodontal) disease.

Personally, I have met many patients that weren’t even aware that they had a gum problem since no dental professional pointed it out to them. Many were lead to believe that their occasional bleeding gums and bad taste in their mouth, was perfectly fine and nothing to be concerned about. Some were even told that it was normal for this to occur. I think not!


So your gums bleed? There are 4 main reasons for this:
1. Poor oral hygiene
2. Nutritional deficiencies
3. Genetic predisposition (your parents had gum disease)
4. All of the above

Of course there could also be some unusual bacterial/viral/fungal infection going on in your mouth not related to anything on the list, but if you take care of #1 and #2, there is a good chance that this infection would never have occurred. Even Trench mouth (severe form of gingivitis associated with painful, infected, bleeding gums and ulcerations) was associated with #1 and #2, but with extreme stress on top of it.

Brushing alone will not cure gum disease. You can use all the oregano oil and tea tree oil you want, but the gum condition will persist. (The holistic minded readers know what I mean.) And this explains why many of the non-flossing health conscious people that see me, have blatant and rampant gum disease.

So this brings me to flossing. Considering that at least 80% of the adult population has periodontal disease (most is asymptomatic but still harmful) and less than 40% of the adult population floss, it is easy to see why there is a rampant gum problem in today’s culture.

The best way to prevent gum disease is to floss first and then brush. This means to floss every tooth in your mouth and not just the front ones that are easy to reach. (If you are having difficulty with this, ask your health professional at your next visit to review it with you.) And then brush second. You need to get the food out between your teeth before you brush. This way you are brushing your actual teeth and not the blobs of food sitting on them. (Most people do the brushing first which makes absolutely no sense.)

I know many of you reading this are not happy to hear how significant flossing is. But knowing that the health of your mouth is directly related to the health of your entire body, it is time to take heed and do whatever you can to be healthy.

In this disease pervasive society, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. Honor your health and do all you can to maintain it. I know I will.

If you like this post, you may also like: Gum Disease is Contagious

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