Why Flossing is Essential to Good Oral Hygiene | Columbia Dentist

While we all know toothbrushing is critical to a healthy mouth, it is equally important to understand the benefits of daily flossing. According to a National Health and Nutrition Examination survey, only 30 percent of Americans floss daily, and 33 percent say they never do. This thinking needs to change.  

No matter how well you brush, the bristles can’t get between teeth. If you have ever brushed until every surface feels marble smooth and then notice flecks of food when you floss, you can see why removing debris between the teeth is so important.  

Why Flossing Works 

Cleaning between teeth removes plaque that can lead to tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease. These conditions usually begin with a bacterial infection in the gingival tissue. If left untreated, it eventually destroys both the tissue and the underlying bone.   

Bacterial infection in gingival tissue causes the body to create an inflammatory response that contributes to gum disease. It can deepen the pockets between teeth and gums and eventually cause the gums and jawbone to recede. Without adequate support, teeth could eventually loosen and fall out.  

It is also important to remove plaque because it can harden into calculus (tartar), a substance that can only be removed by a dentist. Daily flossing is a simple way to ward off tartar and keep your teeth healthy. 

Flossing Helps Overall Health 

By maintaining proper oral health, you can help prevent other health problems. The American Dental Association and American Heart Association both acknowledge a link between cardiovascular problems and periodontal disease. Recent research published by the National Institutes of Health show people with gum disease have a 20 percent higher chance of developing heart disease. The most prominent theory is that gum disease causes inflammation elsewhere in the body and narrowing of the arteries. 

Other studies suggest links between periodontal disease and Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, and some forms of cancer. Research also shows that people with diabetes, who are already at greater risk of infection and inflammation, develop gum disease at higher rates than non-diabetics. Those who manage their blood sugar successfully, however, lower their risk of gum problems. 

Whether you use waxed, unwaxed, or tape types of dental floss, the most important point is that you use it at least once a day to prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay. Contact our dental office to schedule your next appointment and stay on top of your oral health at home.  

Diamond Dental Studio of Forest Acres Columbia
Phone: (803) 738-1114
3261 Harrison Rd.
Columbia, SC 29204

The Link Between Gum Disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis | Dentist in Columbia, SC

Recent studies have linked periodontal disease, more commonly known as gum disease, and rheumatoid  arthritis (RA). Both are inflammatory conditions that prompt the immune system to attack the body. Our  team can teach you more about this connection and how you can protect your oral health if you have  been diagnosed with RA.  

Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful swelling of joints. Periodontal disease can cause swollen gums, infection  and tooth loss. Both are the result of inflammation, which is the body’s natural means of destroying  harmful bacteria and viruses.  

Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissue that holds your teeth in their place. It is typically caused  by poor oral health habits that permit a sticky film called plaque to build up and harden on teeth (known  as calculus, or tartar). If this is not removed, infection sets in, ultimately resulting in loose and missing  teeth. In this case, the body’s inflammatory response is warranted. 

In RA, the body mistakenly activates the immune system against the body’s own joints. This is known as  an autoimmune response. The link between arthritis and gum disease suggests that poor oral health may  actually prompt the immune system to attack the joints. The scientific journal PLoS Pathogens reports  that porphyromonas gingivalis, a bacterium that causes periodontal disease, can cause RA and make it  more severe.  

While scientists continue to study the links between autoimmune conditions and periodontal disease, they  also report positive findings: When RA patients successfully treat gum disease, joint swelling and pain  diminish.  

If you are among the 1.3 million Americans diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, it is important to keep up  with your at-home oral care. This includes twice-daily brushing and daily flossing. The conundrum you  may face is that arthritis can make accurate brushing and flossing difficult, and this compounds the  problem.  

● Talk to our dentist or an occupational therapist about using a toothbrush with a special handle  ● Experiment with different kinds of floss until you find one that is easy to use  ● Toothpaste that comes in a pump instead of a tube can be easier for arthritic hands to manage 

If you have concerns about your gums and rheumatoid arthritis, our team is happy to help you better  manage your oral health. Schedule your next appointment today

Diamond Dental Studio of Forest Acres Columbia
Phone: (803) 738-1114
3261 Harrison Rd.
Columbia, SC 29204

We Are Here For You

Dr. Julia K. Mikell
Solo Practitioner

3261 Harrison Rd.
Columbia, SC 29204

(We are easy to find in Forest Acres at the corner of Harrison Rd. and Budon Ct., near the Zesto’s on Forest Drive.)

(803) 738-1114

Providing Dental Care
For Many Communities Including:

Forest Acres, Fort Jackson, Arcadia Lakes, Lake Katherine, Heathwood, Shandon, Rosewood, Downtown Columbia, Earlewood, Cottontown and the University of South Carolina

Hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 8:30 AM - 5 PM
Friday: Closed


  • South Carolina State Dental
  • America Dental Association
  • America Dental Association

Dentist in Columbia, SC

See What Our Patients are Saying About Us

Dentist in Columbia, SC

“My husband and I had our 1st appointment with Dr. Mikell today and we left there feeling like we absolutely made the right choice! She and her staff were professional, kind, competent, and very respectful to us. We feel like this was a fabulous start to a long and happy relationship!”

Erica R. Columbia, SC Dental Patient

default image

“Diamond Dental is a good place for your dental care . The staff there is great and friendly. I have recommended my friends there because I trust them with my dental care.”

Caesar A.

default image

“I really appreciate the staff at Diamond Dental, they're awesome! Dr. Mikell, DDS and Ms. Deborah know me and my kids by name and I feel like where going to visit family and not a dental appointment. We talk and catch up like ole buddies!”

Tabitha M.

default image

“Dr. Mikell and her staff are the best! I moved ten years ago, but still drive in to town to have her team take care of my smile. They are the nicest people you will ever find!”

Kurt S.

default image

“Julia and her entire amazing staff are top notch. From routine cleanings to more specific emergency situations, I truly trust this team to take care of me. I am so thankful specifically for their help with a fitted night guard. I sleep better and my teeth are protected! Highly recommend Diamond Dental Studios!”

Sarah S.

Diamond Dental News