Often when patients think of oral health, they think of plaque, tartar and cavities. All effort is put into making sure the teeth are free of staining, and more importantly, cavities. Patients tend to think getting cavities are the worst exit possible.

The emphasis on maintaining great-looking, healthy teeth could come from the fact that children are told that cavities are the ultimate oral health concern and that proper oral hygiene is necessary to prevent them. It could also come from the fact that teeth are more visible. When you smile, it is the teeth, not the gums, that make the smile beautiful.

Proper dental care, however, involves teeth brushing and flossing. Why is flossing important?

Brushing the teeth and flossing between them are both ways to keep your teeth clean, but flossing below the gum line?

This deep, proper method of flossing is often ignored as it is tedious, time-consuming and uncomfortable to many patients. This often excluded part of proper oral hygiene has possible serious consequences as the health of one's gums become compromised.

It is important to recognize that the gums are just as important to one's oral health as one's teeth.

Gum Disease: Nothing to Overlook

While cavities are often emphasized, and rightly so as untreated cavities can spread to other teeth and possibly result in lost teeth, gum disease, especially periodontitis can have equally devastating effects on one's smile and oral health.

Plaque build-up can occur in the pockets of the gum along the gum line just as easily and quickly as it can on the surface of teeth. When plaque builds up in the pockets of gums between the tooth and the gum tissue, it is harder to remove than that which is on teeth.

While cavities can be treated with fillings and crowns, gum disease requires more extensive dental procedures including gum planning and scaling and in some instances, a root canal. These procedures take longer and often have a recovery time.

It is necessary to have strong and healthy teeth and gums to have a healthy mouth and to preserve one's beautiful smile. If the health of one is lacking, the greater one's chances are of losing teeth, which will not only ruin one's smile and lower one's self-esteem and quality of life, but will increase the likelihood of additional, more serious oral health issues to occur .

Why Gum Health is Important

While one's teeth are key to making one's smile great, one's gums are necessary to keep one's teeth securely attached to the jaw bone. If the health of the gums is compromised, teeth can become loose and fall out, diminishing one's smile and hindering one's ability to eat, speak and have self-confidence.

Maintaining and caring for one's teeth are important to one's dental health, smile and confidence, but it is only half the equation. The mostly overlooked gum health play just as important role in oral health and maintain one's smile, chewing and speaking as teeth do. In fact, it is the gums that keep teeth securely attached to the jaw bones which preserve a healthy bite.

Proper flossing may be tedious, time-consuming and uncomfortable, but your gums, oral health and extremely your overall health and well-being will thank you.