AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Local dentists are stressing the importance of flossing, despite a lack of support from science.
Flossing has been a practice recommend for decades from dentists and the American Dental Association but the lack of studies proving flossing actually works, brings many to question "why do it."
Which is why Periodontist Ivette Palata wants her patients and others to know that flossing is important.
She encourages everyone to either continue flossing daily or if they're not, to start making it a part of their routines.
"Flossing should be part of your daily dental routine, especially if you are having bleeding, bad breath or if inflammation is present," Palata said.
Palata believes flossing helps fight inflammation which can lead to gum diseases.
"In your mouth you have around 500 different kinds of bacteria and if you do not floss this bacteria is going to accumulate at your gum line," Palata expressed. "Even though at the beginning you don't see it, if you were to pass a toothpick around your gum line your going to see a white mass that is bacteria all over."
She said about 40 percent of adults ages 30 and up have some type of gum disease and many do not even realize until it is already at a high stage.
"Flossing is very important to maintain the health of your gums, your teeth, and in general your health because periodontal disease has been linked with other systemic diseases," Palata said.
Palata said studies show gum disease links to other diseases, including kidney disease, diabetes, and heart disease.
Signs to look for in your gums include swelling, redness, tenderness and bleeding.
If you have any of these signs or questions about flossing Palata encourages talking to your dentist.