Common Myths of Gum Disease
There are several common myths that seem to follow gum disease, but these misunderstandings are important to clear up before they perpetuate into false information for patients. Here are some of those myths we often hear that are simply untrue:
- Gum Disease Is Not That Common: Actually, the truth is quite the opposite. Gum disease is actually quite common, much more common than we would like to think. About half of adults age 30 and older have or have had some form of gum disease in their lifetime. The gum disease is often caused by that stick layer of film that can form over teeth and eventually turn into calcified tartar if not removed through brushing and flossing regularly.
- I Have No Cavities So I Can’t Have Gum Disease: This is also untrue as the cavities occur in the teeth themselves, whereas the gum problems occur in the gum line. Gums that bleed easily or are very red in nature already are infected with gingivitis, and if left untreated can turn into a periodontal disease which gets under the gum line and can penetrate the bone. Gingivitis is usually treatable through consistently improved brushing and flossing habits, but once it advances to periodontal disease the fix is not so easy!
- Having Gum Disease Means I Will Lose All of My Teeth: That is also not true. You don’t have to lose your teeth to gum disease if you up your oral routine and hygiene. Gingivitis is the first sign that you have to improve your oral health, and people rarely lose teeth to gingivitis alone but left untreated it can advance to periodontal diseases, which can sometimes be treated to save the teeth, but in its more advanced stages, the chances may not be so great. Why let it get there, though? Just take care of your teeth and you won’t have a thing to worry about. If you have no idea what the state of your teeth is today, contact your dentist right away so you can get an appointment scheduled to see how you are doing. If improvements need to be made, agree to make them so you don’t have oral health problems in the future.
- Bleeding Gums During Pregnancy is Normal: Actually, on having your gums bleeding during pregnancy is not your body’s normal reaction. It’s a condition called “pregnancy gingivitis” which may mean your gums are a little bit more susceptible to infection and disease than they were when you are not pregnant. IF you have more sensitive gums, just provide extra TLC to keep them from getting infected, and most women should not have a problem averting pregnancy gum disease if they visit their dentist regularly and keep on top of things.
- Bad Breath Can Be an Indicator of Gum Disease: Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth can be a sign of gum disease. If you constantly have that bad breath, then see your dentist for regular checkups and see how you can avoid any further problems with gum disease before it’s too late. If your dentist sees no issues, you may be referred to your physician who can do further testing for any medical abnormalities.
- I Have Diabetes, Will I Get Gum Disease?: Diabetes is a chronic condition which effects the body’s ability to process and digest sugars. Diabetes can lower your natural ability to fight off certain conditions, including infections like gum disease in gingivitis or periodontal disease. If you have diabetes you are at greater risk of developing conditions like gum disease, but regular preventative care from your dentist should be able to help keep these problems to a minimum when combined with healthy habits of brushing 2x per day, and flossing 1x per day.
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