Fighting Periodontitis: Your Secret Weapon Might Be A Water Flosser

27 July 2015
 Categories: Dentist, Blog

Water flossers come in many prices, shapes, and sizes. Some are electric and some require a pump action to work, but studies have shown that all of them are highly effective at fighting oral infections. If you're battling with tough periodontic bacteria, you need all the help you can get, and dentists now believe that a water flosser may just be the strongest weapon in your arsenal.

Cleaning Out The Bacteria

Unlike traditional floss, water jets can actually go deep into the pocket around your teeth to clean out bacteria. Normally these nooks and crannies would be inaccessible with solid tools like toothpicks and floss, but water can quickly flow in and carry out even the deepest-dwelling germs. As an added bonus, this process is still gentle enough to avoid hurting patients with sensitive gums, for whom manual deep cleanings may be agonizing.

Soothing Inflamed Gums

Gums become inflamed during a bacterial infection because of proteins called cytokines. Cytokines serve as signals between cells, and are released by your body's immune system as a natural response to invasive germs.

Manual flossing and brushing has no effect on cytokines in your gums, which means inflammation can take a while to go down, and bleeding is common. Water flossing, on the other hand, has been shown to reduce the cytokine levels in infected gums. This soothes the inflammation more quickly and reduces bleeding when brushing teeth.

Scouring Deep Plaque Away

Biofilm, also known as plaque, appears on your teeth when conglomerations of food particles and bacteria are allowed to gather and harden. In time, this plaque can become calculus, which damages the tooth roots and is difficult to remove without strong dental tools. Removing plaque is key to improving your condition as a periodontitis sufferer. 

Normal flossing will get rid of the majority of surface plaque, but it still leaves inaccessible plaque untouched at the base of your teeth. Trying to scrape out buried plaque with floss or toothpicks may make your gums bleed and cause a toothache. Water flossing is strong enough to wash away 99.99% of hardening biofilm but gentle enough to avoid these painful side effects of manual cleaning.

Periodontitis sufferers need to get their teeth as clean as possible in order to prevent the infection from worsening. If you feel like you've tried everything and you still have gum inflammation and toothaches, it may be time to give water flossing a go. Talk to your dentist for brands and accessories that best fit your specific oral health needs. For more information, contact Durham Dental Clinic or a similar location.