Regular flossing could save your teeth from extraction

Though most people these days are becoming aware of flossing, they don’t really put it into practice consistently. They say if you fail to floss you miss cleaning 40% of your teeth. But are people really worried about the remaining 40%? Well, you should be! Because you still have 40% chance of developing tooth cavities.

Cleaning the remaining 40% can remove the entire possibility of getting tooth cavities. This also means you avoid the possibility of needing a root canal treatment in your life. But how exactly does flossing save your teeth from extraction?

Failing to floss your teeth

Lady flossing to avoid teeth extraction

Only if we were aware of this fact way too early in our lives: Flossing your teeth is just as important as brushing them!

Brushing your teeth only cleans 60 percent of your teeth, and the bristles of a toothbrush don’t reach the areas between your teeth. Cavities between the teeth often go hidden, which can lead to serious dental problems down the line. Remnants of food particles, plaque, bacteria, and calculus remain stuck between your teeth. Failing to floss your teeth also hampers gum health since plaque and bacteria linger around the gum line causing serious inflammation and other gum diseases.

Hidden cavities between your teeth

Hidden cavities between your teeth

One of the main problems with failing to floss is the development of hidden cavities that start between your teeth. Cavities are holes in your teeth that are caused by bacteria eating away at your enamel. If left untreated, they can cause pain and lead to nerve damage needing a root canal treatment.

Failing to floss regularly leaves you 40% more likely to develop cavities than if you do floss. This is because the spaces between your teeth are often inaccessible by toothbrush bristles, meaning they get missed when brushing. Bacteria and leftover food particles build up in these areas and cause cavities.

These cavities may go unnoticed as these cavities may even begin below the gum line in the spaces between your teeth. Hidden cavities may not show any symptoms for a long time because initially, they don’t cause any pain or sensitivity. By the time you notice them, it’s often too late to reverse the damage without a root canal or an extraction (tooth removal).

Hidden cavities reach the root canal stage


When hidden cavities are left untreated, they reach the deeper layers of a tooth and can eventually reach the root canal stage. When this happens, you’ll need a root canal in order to save your tooth and prevent further complications, including infection and bone loss.

Sadly, many people don’t floss their teeth because they assume that cavities will give them obvious signs of trouble. Sadly, this isn’t the case—cavities that start between the teeth or in the deeper layers of the tooth don’t give any alarming signs until they’ve progressed so far that they are no longer reversible with a standard filling.

What’s more, these cavities start between the teeth and spread in the inner layers without any holes or black discoloration (which is more common for cavities that have started at the surface). As the cavity progresses, it reaches deeper layers and eventually reaches the nerve. This can lead to pain, sensitivity, and other symptoms that indicate serious problems requiring a root canal treatment.

Cavity now reaches the extraction stage

We now know how hidden cavities reach the root canal stage without giving any warnings. But once it reaches this stage, it causes severe, excruciating and unbearable pain on reaching the nerve. Most people at this stage just pop pain killers and expect the pain to go away magically without opting for any treatment.

If the tooth is left untreated the hidden cavities now become obvious and reaches more deeper layers of the tooth. As the decay further progresses the bacteria further eat away the tooth causing it to break down into smaller pieces and fragments. This is the stage where your tooth can no longer be saved even with a root canal and would need its removal (tooth extraction).

Flossing helps improve gum health

flossing save your teeth from extraction

Flossing is not only important to keep your teeth healthy, but very important to keep your gums healthy too. Flossing removes food particles and plaque that build up between teeth, which allows them to stay healthy and strong. The ADA recommends that people floss their teeth once a day to help prevent gum disease.

Flossing helps improve gum health by removing plaque, food particles, and bacteria from between the teeth and under the gum line. As you age, your gums become more susceptible to disease, which can lead to tooth loss. Flossing could thus also prevent your teeth from becoming loose and falling out.

How does flossing save your teeth from extraction?

This simple act of flossing daily can help prevent the buildup of plaque, tartar, and bacteria that can lead to periodontal disease. Since you tend to get rid of the remaining 40% plaque between your teeth, you reduce the chances of developing hidden cavities.

Plaque is a sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth, which turns into calculus when ignored. The longer it remains on your teeth, the greater your risk for gum disease becomes. Flossing removes debris from between your teeth and below the gum line where dental floss can reach. This causes low levels of plaque which prevents the onset of tooth cavities.

Regular flossing helps prevent gingivitis or inflammation of the gums and periodontitis or inflammation of the supporting tissues around your teeth that may lead to tooth loss. If not treated early enough before it becomes advanced periodontal disease; which requires more aggressive treatment like extractions depending on what stage you are at, in order to save your natural teeth from being removed altogether.

The bottom line

Poor gum health and hidden cavities are the most common reasons why your tooth needs to undergo an extraction. Flossing between your teeth solves both these problems. It eliminates the chances and possibilities of your tooth getting extracted by removing the plaque and bacteria from the spaces between your teeth. Improved gum health and no cavities can save your teeth from complex dental treatments like extractions.


  • Flossing is one of the most important habits you can develop to maintain and improve your gum health.
  • Compromised gum health and hidden cavities are the most common reasons why your teeth needs removal.
  • Flossing can prevent hidden cavities as well as improve gum health by removing plaque and bacteria from the interdental spaces between teeth.
  • Flossing thus helps prevent the need for tooth extraction in the future.
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scanO (formerly DentalDost)

Stay Informed, Smile On!

Author Bio: Dr. Amrita Jain is a practicing dental surgeon since 4 years. She completed her B.D.S in 2016 and was has been a rank holder throughout her course. She suggests “Holistic dentistry is the best dentistry”. Her treatment line follows a conservative pattern which means saving a tooth is of utmost priority and preventing your teeth from getting decayed rather than curing it with a root canal treatment. She inculcates the same while consulting her patients. Apart from her interest in clinical practice, she has developed interest in research and writing over a period of time. She states “It is my clinical experience that motivates me to write and spread dental awareness”. Her articles are well researched with a combination of technical knowledge and clinical experience.

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