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Gum disease is a problem threatening the oral health of millions of Americans each year. The American Dental Association estimates that nearly half of the population over the age of 30 has some degree of gum disease. At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have also found that around 65 percent of seniors have moderate-to-severe levels of gum disease.

The ADA and your dentist, Dr. Jack Schwarcz, both recommend that you brush and floss your teeth twice a day. Flossing immediately after brushing is the most effective way to clean between teeth. Should hardened tartar form near the gumline, it very easily could cause you to develop gum disease.

Gum disease starts out as gingivitis. Most people with gingivitis have gums that can bleed easily when brushing and flossing and they have issues with chronic bad breath. In many cases, the gums might also look red or inflamed.

Flossing between the teeth and along the gumline is the most effective method for removing plaque and food particles before they can harden into tartar.

It’s worth noting that the act of flossing is more than just moving the strand back and forth between your teeth. The ideal flossing technique starts by wrapping the excess floss around your middle fingers. Then, firmly grip a small section of floss between your thumb and index fingers. Work the floss around your teeth in a U-shape and gently clear the space between the teeth and your gumline. Be sure to also floss behind your back teeth.

After you’re done brushing and flossing your teeth, you can vigorously rinse your mouth with antiseptic mouthwash. While antiseptic mouthwash does help remove previously loosened food particles and kill bacteria, it cannot replace flossing in Center Line, Michigan.

If you are concerned that you might be developing gum disease or hardened tartar on your teeth, you should call Eastside Periodontics at 586-757-5454 to seek treatment.