I’m taking a course of research methods and came across this article from The Guardian accidentally. It’s titled, “Everyone Recommends Flosing— but There’s Hardly Any Proof It Works”. Is this accurate? What’s the counterargument?
I’m very glad to see students taking research seriously and checking things out. Especially, in this day where people can write just about anything and it’s instantly accessible to millions, research methods are becoming more and more important. The article you’re inquiring about it a prime example.
Let’s start with their wording. “There’s hardly any proof”. That actually means there is proof. Isn’t that a bit like saying, there’s hardly any proof the accused has an alibi? That would mean there is some proof he has an alibi. The silliness of that statement is beyond reason.
In fact, there is strong evidence that flossing helps prevent gum disease. I’m certain any dentist and hygienist, and especially periodontist can tell you exactly which of their patients are flossing and which aren’t just by a quick examination. I can even tell you if a patient’s gums are inflamed it will take two weeks of flossing to get things back in control again. I can also tell you that flossers rarely get decay between their teeth.
The Importantance of Flossing
Flossing is instrumental in preventing gum disease. People underestimate how serious gum disease can get. If left untreated, a patient will begin to lose teeth. Did you ever have those nightmares where your front teeth just fell out? That’s sort of what would happen. The patient’s teeth will just fall out.
This shows you how important it is to check everything you read. I’m so grateful you are doing your best to do that.
The Best Solution for Lost Teeth
Sometimes, decay or gum disease is so advanced there is little which can be done to save the tooth. In that case, the top replacement is to get a dental implant. This surgically implants a prosthetic root into the jawbone. Then, after a period of healing and time for osseointegration (a process where the bone integrates with the implant) a dental crown is placed on top. It’s the closest thing to having a healthy natural tooth again.
Mind you, the gum disease will have to be treated first. Otherwise, the implanted tooth is as vulnerable as the natural tooth.
This blog is brought to you by Atlanta Periodontist Dr. David Pumphrey.