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The American Dental Association says that a truly effective oral hygiene routine involves brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day to maintain good oral health. Cleaning away plaque and residual food particles not only helps to prevent tooth decay problems, but can also stave off the onset of periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is an infection and inflammation of the gum tissues, that is often caused by the formation of hardened tartar near the gum line.

The earliest form of periodontal disease is gingivitis. Common symptoms include red or otherwise inflamed gums that often bleed easily when brushing and flossing and could also include issues with chronic bad breath.

If it is not resolved by improvements to your daily oral hygiene routine and attending the your twice-annual dental cleaning with Dr. Barry Malkiel, gingivitis will develop into dangerous periodontitis.

This serious infection deep in your gums causes them to slowly pull back from the base of your teeth forming pockets of infection to form near the roots of your teeth. Left unchecked periodontitis can even result in a loss of bone structure in the part of your jaw that anchors your teeth.

Each time you brush your teeth, you should follow up by flossing between your teeth as well as along the gum line. The most effective flossing technique starts by wrapping 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 gum line. Be sure to also floss behind your last molar.

If you are concerned about periodontal disease or you would like tips on how to improve your flossing technique, you should call Dr. Barry Malkiel at 770-995-9255 to schedule an appointment.