Daily flossing doesn’t just keep your teeth healthy — practicing good oral hygiene contributes to your health in other ways, too.
In fact, there’s an increasing amount of evidence linking periodontal disease to an increased risk of heart disease, although more studies are needed to confirm this link. Some researchers think that mouth infections, like any infections, can increase the levels of inflammatory substances in the blood, which can promote blood clots and slow blood flow to the heart. Another theory is that bacteria from a mouth infection can easily enter the bloodstream and impact your cardiovascular system.
Regular flossing removes plaque, thereby removing the bacteria in plaque from your mouth. It also helps prevent tooth decay and can reduce your risk of developing gum disease by removing plaque.
In addition, flossing gives you the opportunity to regularly examine your mouth for any swelling or redness. Flossing gives you an opportunity to take a good look at your teeth, tongue, and gums. Certain conditions including some cancers, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse and eating disorders can cause lesions in your mouth and redness and swelling of the gums.
If you want to be sure that you are reaping the benefits of flossing, try a floss such as Oral-B® Indicator®—the blue color helps you see the plaque you’ve removed so you’ll know that your efforts are paying off.