A study by the American Academy of Periodontology found that 27% of adults in the U.S will not tell the truth to their dentist about how frequently they floss their teeth. According to the study, they would prefer to do unpleasant chores or be gridlocked in traffic than floss their teeth.
This is a startling statistic and very worrying. Flossing can prevent serious dental diseases like periodontal disease (gum disease). What is more, periodontal disease is associated with high blood pressure. According to Cardiovascular Research, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology, an analysis of 81 studies from 26 countries has shown there to be a very strong connection between them. The study showed even moderate gum disease was related to a significant 22% rise in the risk of hypertension (high blood pressure), while severe gum disease was linked to a 49% higher risk. In fact, the average systolic blood pressure was 4.5 mmHg higher in those tested with gum disease. That is not insignificant – an average 5 mmHg blood pressure rise would equate to a marked risk (25% increase) of serious diseases and life threatening outcomes from heart attack to stroke.
There are also other studies which act as validation of these fidings such as the NIH study; Prevalence of daily flossing among adults by selected risk factors for periodontal disease
And in another study and survey by the dentists’ association found that only 40% of adults floss every day while a high percentage (around 20%) never floss their teeth at all. This is indeed of great concern. Perhaps dentists should explain the risks to their patients more often that flossing their teeth is as essential as brushing them. It is all part of a good regime of oral hygiene.
So what makes us hate flossing so much? It is really quick, painless but very necessary. The flossing technique is really rather simple.