Gum disease is the loss of bone around the roots of the teeth. 70% of all teeth extracted are due to gum disease. 3 out of 4 Adults have it, and it is hereditary. The disease is caused by plaque bacteria- 100,000,000 bugs in 1,000th of a gram- and their waste products. If you remove the plaque every day, that can help to control gum disease. Toothbrushing removes 75% of the plaque, but you must use dental floss or picks to remove the remaining plaque. Take 18 inches of J&J, Butler, Oral B or any good floss, and starting at one end, wrap around a middle finger. As you approach the other end, wrap it around the other middle finger enough to secure it, and then hold in between middle fingers with the index fingers and thumbs. Leave some space. Now use the index fingers to guide the floss, and place it in between two back teeth. Use a sawing motion to get through the contact and then wipe up and down while leaning on one side, then lean on the other side and wipe up and down. Saw back and forth to come out again, and go to the next tooth. Do Not use the sawing motion against the gums. When the floss gets dirty, advance it from the finger with the wrapped floss to the other middle finger. This way you can remove the plaque and control this chronic inflammatory disease. Avoiding sugar and limiting Carbs helps, because that is food for plaque bacteria. Note: water floss is not a substitute for flossing.
By Michael Acquista, DDS
June 8, 2023