Floss or Die

Houston dentist Dr. Spiker Davis explains the connection between gum disease and a variety of health problems such as heart disease and premature birth.

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Thank you, Appreciate it. All right. If you often forget to floss your teeth or you just don't like doing it, well, you might want to make it a priority. That's after you hear what Fox 26's Melissa Wilson is asking Dr. Spiker Davis,

A viewer, Rebecca, reached out to me to talk to me about periodontal disease. She's really worried the fact that her father just had a stroke and was also diagnosed with gum disease right before that. She's just wondering if they're related. What is your thought on that?

Well, there's been tons and tons of research in the last 10 to 15 years on the connection between the bacteria and gum disease and heart attacks, strokes, premature birth. There's a lot of connections. And the theory is that the bacteria that are in your mouth get into the bloodstream and they lodge or stir up an infection somewhere. What they found is the same bacteria that are in your gums when they're infected also are in your heart when you have a heart attack, so they think there's a lodge there. It's hard to track that down exactly and prove it, but the evidence every day gets worse, or better and better, however you want to look at it as far as the connection.

I read an article recently that says floss or die. And you feel like there is a whole lot of truth to this?

Yeah. The article was talking about if you don't floss, you get gum disease. If you get gum disease, look out. You could get a lot of these other things. So that's why the article was entitled floss or die.

So we need to take it seriously. And it seems like nobody really likes to floss. They might do it once a week. How often do you really need to be doing it? You've got to do it at least once a day in. My recommendation is for sure do it at night after dinner. A lot of times people will floss in the morning and then all day long the food they're eating stays in between their teeth and even all night long, because they didn't floss at night. So it's better to... The perfect ideal world, floss twice a day. But if you have to, once for sure. Well, if you're thinking about it, actually saving your life from a potentially deadly disease, I think it makes it a lot easier to add it to your routine.

Yeah. I don't mind dying, but I don't want to die because I didn't floss, that's for sure.

Me either.

AI can come up with a better cause.

Let's go floss.

Okay.

Get fired up about it now.

And if you have a question to ask the doctor, you can reach out to Melissa on Facebook. That's MelissaWilsonFox26, or on Twitter @MelissaFox26.