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A new study drives home the importance of tooth brushing and flossing

Researchers found that gingival bleeding and halitosis were greatly reduced after a two-week oral hygiene program of dental flossing and tooth brushing

The list of excuses for not brushing or flossing is endless, but according to a new study published in the Journal of Periodontology, these are two tasks that should not be omitted from the daily hygiene routine.

Researchers found that tongue and tooth brushing in combination with dental flossing significantly decreased gingival bleeding by 38 percent after a two-week oral hygiene program. Halitosis, or bad breath, was also reduced. In the group that did not floss as part of their daily routine, gingival bleeding sites increased by almost four percent.

"Gingival bleeding and halitosis is often the first sign of poor oral hygiene that may eventually lead to further periodontal problems," said Walter A. Bretz, DDS, PhD, Department of Cariology & Comprehensive Care, New York University College of Dentistry and the mentor of the study. "A good way to prevent periodontal disease and tooth decay is through at-home oral hygiene care and routine dental visits."

"Bad breath and bleeding gums can also occur in people who routinely brush their teeth and gums," said Kenneth A. Krebs, DMD and AAP president. "Bleeding gums can be a sign of periodontal disease, and bad breath may be from certain bacteria that have built up in the mouth. People with bleeding gums or bad breath should ask their dentist or periodontist about their periodontal health."

Kerry Gutshall | EurekAlert!
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