What Happens When you Don’t Floss

Posted on: February 16, 2018

The failure to floss will affect your oral health as well as your overall health.  Some dentists argue flossing is more important than brushing.  Here is an in-depth look at what will happen if you do not floss.

What can happen when you do not floss

Bacteria Will Accumulate

Every mouth has an abundance of bacteria.  Bacteria is between the teeth, below the gums, on the tongue and elsewhere.  However, you cannot see bacteria.  They are invisible to the naked eye.  If you fail to floss, the colonies of bacteria will grow that much larger and breach your gums, teeth and even the roots of the teeth.  Bacteria is problematic as it leads to tooth decay, gum disease, bad breath and all sort of other problems.


Skip your nightly flossing and the food particles and bacteria will accumulate to the point that they cause halitosis.  This dental term means bad breath.  Flossing is necessary to remove all those tiny bits of food stuck between your teeth after eating and snacking. The same thing that happens when you leave food out of the fridge will happen in your mouth unless you perform a thorough flossing a minimum of once each day.

Loose Teeth

When bacteria are allowed to accumulate in the mouth as a result of a failure to floss, your body will treat it similar to an invasion.  It will combat the bacteria with an inflammatory response. This response breaks down collagen and fibers meant to keep the teeth secure. Once these fibers are ruined, the teeth will loosen and eventually fall out.  

Weight Gain, Dementia and Heart Disease

It is possible for the failure to floss to lead to these medical problems. The chronic inflammatory reaction detailed above is tied to weight gain as well as heart issues and poor memory. These problems will not occur right away. Rather, they will slowly develop with each passing day.

Shifting Teeth

Brushing cleans the fronts and backs of the teeth. Flossing is necessary to pull out those pesky food particles, bacteria and plaque between the teeth. If you do not pull out these particles, they will cause more than bad breath and tooth decay.

Leaving such particles between the teeth can even cause the teeth to shift. This is precisely why the ADA advises flossing once per day and brushing two times per day.

Bleeding Gums

If your gum tissue bleeds, it is not healthy.  Your gums should stay exactly as they are whether you are flossing, brushing, eating or doing anything else.  The failure to floss will lead to gums that bleed, gingivitis or periodontitis.

An Excessive Accumulation of Tartar

Tartar is a hard substance only a dentist can remove with specialized tools.  The failure to floss will lead to an excessive buildup of this disgusting substance.  Think of tartar as plaque that has gone untreated to the point that is has solidified.  Floss every single day and you will not have to worry about an excess of tartar plaguing your dental health.

Call (760) 692-1065 to schedule an appointment with El Camino Dental Arts in our Vista dental office.

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