View Full Version : Got Gingivitis? Before You Floss, Read This!

01-14-13, 07:26 PM
Cate Shanahan, MD
January 13, 2012

One of the common causes of endocarditis, it turns out, is getting a thorough tooth cleaning in a dentists office. The sharp instruments penetrating below the gum line force bacteria into the bloodstream. In immune compromised people, the infection can get out of control. When I was a kid I used to floss every day just like my dentist advised. Then I went though medical school and learned about something called endocarditis, a bacterial infection of the heart valves, which develops in people whose immune systems are unable to eradicate the invading bacteria before they can burrow into the valvular tissue.

For me, this is not merely a theoretical issue. My brother, who had a compromised immune system from a bone marrow transplant while I was in medical school, nearly lost his life when he had his teeth cleaned prior to undergoing the radiation treatment.
Even in the absence of obvious infection, bacteria in the bloodstream can trigger a subclinical immune system response that may lead to inflammation in the blood vessel walls where it can contribute to atherosclerosis and other diseases associated with aging.

Like dental cleaning, flossing also forces bacteria into the bloodstream.

To read the rest of the article go to:
http://drcate.com/got-gingivitis-before-you-floss-read-this/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+drcate%2FPBhs+%28drcate.com%2 9

Mr. Wizard
01-14-13, 08:26 PM
To help mitigate the risk of pushing bad bacteria into the bloodstream from teeth cleaning, some dentist will have their patients rinse with a fairly potent antiseptic mouthwash before commencing the teeth cleaning. Likewise, some patients are instructed to rinse with an antispetic mouthwash prior to flossing at home. I also know people who floss after they brush and rinse. I think I may adopt this habit in light of this article. Bottom line: I think it is horrible advice to encourage people to not floss, especially given the SAD diet so many people consume.

01-14-13, 08:50 PM
I really like oil pulling with coconut oil....my gums are looking much better.

What I found interesting Mr. Wizard was Dr. Cate's statements:

"There’s never been any compelling research showing that daily flossing promotes better oral health or reduces gingivitis.
Some research suggests that if you have gingivitis and you floss, you are forcing bad bacteria into your bloodstream."

Mr. Wizard
01-14-13, 08:58 PM
@Reesacat: I think the operative word in Dr. Cate's statement is "compelling" research. I read that to mean he's seen research that would suggest there are some benefits to flossing, but is was not "compelling." Funny thing, even the very act of chewing your food forces bad bacteria deeper into your gums and ultimately into your blood stream. I would think brushing, to some extent, would do the same.

01-14-13, 09:03 PM
Maybe brushing a bit will force bacteria into the bloodstream, but I will get bleeding gums from flossing. Flossing is the only thing that makes my gums bleed. (Since changing diet to Paleo and oil pulling with coconut oil gums MUCH improved. Started doing bone broth a couple months ago and I think it helps also.)

01-14-13, 09:44 PM
I don't know what I would do without my dental floss. Always keep a large roll in my pocket with a small backup roll in case I unexpectedly run out. As one gets older, (I'm 67), the teeth have a tendency to spread apart over the years creating wider gaps to trap food particles. And especially if you are missing teeth, as I not only had all my wisdom teeth removed, but have also lost all my rear molars over time as well. That creates lots of tooth spreading over the years.

As a result, I have to floss after every meal, and if it's one thing I learned about proper flossing, it's that you have to angle the floss in such a way that you don't contact and irritate the gums. And sometimes, that's easier said than done.

01-14-13, 10:20 PM
I think I would go crazy if I didn't floss. I have a roll in my desk at work and at home, and in each vehicle in case I eat out. I too, like Grulla, get food trapped between my molars. The problem is that I futiley attempt to use my tongue or fingernail as a toothpick, constantly playing with the trapped food until I can get to some dental floss.

01-15-13, 12:24 AM
I'm going to try again to get into the habit of oil pulling. I really do like the way it makes my teeth feel and my gums are not in the best shape, which I read is a common celiac problem.

01-15-13, 07:24 AM
I'm with you guys; if food gets caught between my teeth, which it does every time I eat, I just will fidget with my tongue until I finally get some dental floss going. Flossing has to be done carefully and gently, of course, or jamming the floss into the gums would happen.

01-15-13, 04:37 PM
I floss when I'm watching a movie or reading the Internet. If I eat broccoli or oranges...OMG.

01-15-13, 05:48 PM
Funny thing, even the very act of chewing your food forces bad bacteria deeper into your gums and ultimately into your blood stream. I would think brushing, to some extent, would do the same.

If you brush with downward strokes when brushing top teeth, and with upward strokes when brushing bottom teeth, which is what I do, it shouldn't push bacteria deeper into gums, should it?

01-15-13, 06:25 PM
It shouldn't, Pattypans. I also have to use floss for food traps regularly. I use a wide ribbon floss that doesn't cut my gums and has tea tree oil on it.

01-15-13, 07:31 PM
Wow, Reesacat, could you please share the brand of this?

Mr. Wizard
01-15-13, 07:49 PM
@Pattypans: I believe you are correct that brushing downwards when brushing top teeth and upwards when brushing bottom teeth should prevent bacteria from being pushed deeper into gums. I just bet, though, that the majority of folks don't brush this way. Sounds like you've had some excellent training!!

01-15-13, 07:57 PM
This is what I use — they call it a dental tape. It is wider than regular floss.

01-15-13, 08:29 PM
Thanks, Reesacat! I should have known about this.

01-15-13, 11:33 PM
Thanks Reesacat. I'll get some soon. I bet our local vit shop/grocery has it. I did oil pulling last night too.
Pattypans. That method of brushing is best, but it takes sooooo much patients.

01-18-13, 02:32 PM
I just went to the dentist this past week and she gave me one of those "deep cleanings" and after that she used an application of "oxygen/ozone". It was placed into the infected gum pockets because of my Gingivitis. This dentist does not believe in fluoride or mercury fillings. I had not gone to a dentist for 6 years. My husband uses a tooth pick and no floss. He never has had Gingivitis. I sometimes use baking soda to brush. Right or wrong I will be sticking with this dentist.

01-18-13, 05:47 PM
Pattypans. That method of brushing is best, but it takes sooooo much patients.

Why is it harder than any other method, bmc? Maybe it's just 'cause I've been doing it for so long that it's just normal for me. It's really not a big deal. You just have to form the habit.

I'm getting back into oil pulling most mornings, too.

01-18-13, 06:15 PM
Right or wrong I will be sticking with this dentist.

Grandma, sounds like you found a winner!

01-19-13, 04:34 PM
Grandma, sounds like you found a winner!

Thanks, I needed to hear that! Especially after firing 3 dentists in the past.

01-19-13, 08:13 PM
I'm a flosser too, plus before flossing I use those little floss picks to get some of the trapped food out before flossing. I have badly receded gums which has created places where a large amount of fibrous foods gets stuck, and it actually gets packed in and hurts. So I sometimes have to jump up and go to the bathroom to take care of it in the middle of a meal. Can't stand it.
In respect of flossing and brushing, what about using an oral irrigator?

01-20-13, 05:53 PM
If you have one pesky, stubbon, hard to floss particle between your teeth and don't want to go to the hassle of setting up your Water Pik, then try the simple Monojet 412 dental syringe. I got one as a freeby a long time ago from my dentist, so recently I ordered a new one from my independent RX Pharmacy. He back ordered it and they arrived in a box of 50, and he charged a whopping $.35 for one, so I bought 6 to keep on hand. Fast and simple, and you can put your favorite homemade H2O2 or baking soda concoction, or whatever in it.