There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding dental care and your gums. Since gum disease is one of the most prevalent (and serious) oral health concerns that Americans face, we want to set the record straight. The more educated patients are about periodontal disease, the better they will be able to prevent this problem. Let’s start by discussing and busting the following 5 myths about gum disease:
Myth #1: Bleeding Gums Are Normal
Healthy, clean gums do not bleed when flossing or brushing. If you see “pink in the sink” when you complete your oral hygiene routine at home, you may be suffering from the first sign of gum disease. When gums swell, become tender and bleed, it is often because plaque has accumulated around the teeth and gum line and caused irritation within these soft tissues. Bleeding gums is a wake-up call to improve your dental care habits.
Myth #2: Gum Disease Happens When You Don’t Brush and Floss
While poor oral hygiene is a leading culprit to the development of gum disease, there can be several other contributing factors. Tobacco use, stress, poor diet, genetics, pregnancy and certain illnesses such as diabetes are known to raise your risk for periodontal disease. On the flip side, don’t make the mistake of assuming that you can’t get gum disease if your teeth are cavity-free.
Myth #3: Gum Disease Is Irreversible
While advanced gum disease (periodontitis) has consequences that are irreversible, such as bone loss and tooth loss, the early stages of gum disease can easily be reversed with proper treatment. In fact, gingivitis is the initial stage of gum disease and it can be fully treated with better oral hygiene and/or a professional dental cleaning in most cases. Detecting gum disease early is paramount to reversing this oral health condition.
Myth #4: Only Adults Can Get Gum Disease
It is true that gum disease is much more common in adults. However, children are also susceptible to periodontal disease for the same reasons that adults are. Poor dental care, genetics and certain medical conditions can predispose kids to gum disease. In fact, teens are at a higher risk due to surging hormones!
Myth #5: Everyone With Diabetes Has Gum Disease
Diabetes and gum disease are a two-way street. In other words, poorly managed diabetes can make a patient more vulnerable to gum disease and gum disease can make your blood sugar and diabetic condition more difficult to control. However, this doesn’t mean that periodontal disease is inevitable if you have diabetes, but you may need to be more diligent in your oral hygiene routine and see your dentist more often for routine cleanings and checkups.
Now that you understand what is myth and what is fact when it comes to gum disease, you can work harder to avoid this serious oral health condition. If you are concerned that you are suffering from gum disease symptoms, call Park South Dentistry today for treatment