Gum disease: myths and mistakesMarch 10, 2020 7:26 am
Gum disease is very commonly misunderstood. The name sounds serious – and, if untreated, the condition can be very dangerous for the health of your teeth and gums. However, there’s no need to be alarmed. There are many different treatments now available – and, no matter how minor or severe your gum disease is, your dentist will be able to help. Read on to banish those gum disease myths!
- Gum disease doesn’t affect healthy teeth
Unfortunately, even if you have no cavities, that doesn’t mean you’re immune to other dental problems. Gum disease is very common. According to a survey in the US, half of Americans over 30 suffer from it!
Gum disease starts with a reaction between your gums and bacteria around them. When you eat lots of sugar or fail to brush your teeth properly, the bacteria that are found naturally in your mouth will feed on food in your mouth and produce acid and plaque. Over time, as more bacteria accumulate, your gums can’t cope and become increasingly sore, inflamed and painful.
If you have a bad habit such as smoking, that can compromise your immune system’s ability to keep bacteria at bay. Likewise, if you have another medical condition like diabetes, you may be more vulnerable to gum disease. So, even if your teeth are in pretty good condition, gum disease can still be a risk factor.
- I don’t have any pain, so there’s no problem
Gum disease is likely to be painless, particularly in the early stages when it’s known as gingivitis. At this point, symptoms such as bleeding when brushing may just be shrugged off. By the time you notice more serious symptoms like a feeling of loose teeth, pain or uncomfortable swelling, the gum disease may have progressed to the later stages – called periodontitis. You may need more invasive treatment and gum care to fix the problem, such as root planning or periodontal surgery.
- It’s a disease that can’t be cured
Gum disease is a dental problem that needs to be treated by a professional – but that doesn’t mean its incurable.
For the early stages of gum disease, better hygiene at home may be enough to remove the problem-causing bacteria. In later stages, your dentist or hygienist may prescribe gum disease treatment such as a thorough scale and polish, which will remove plaque and tartar and give your teeth a fighting chance.
Even if you have advanced gum disease, don’t ignore it – as treatment will prevent further damage. For help, see a professional dental surgery such as Drs. Nicolas & Asp.
- Pregnant women shouldn’t worry about bleeding gums
If you’re pregnant, you’re at a time when your body is undergoing serious hormonal changes. During the time it can be harder to manage bacteria levels and gum care. This means that – even if you are keeping up your normal dental routine – gum disease can take hold.
If you are pregnant, you should definitely keep up or increase your normal dental check-ups schedule. This will enable your dentist to keep a closer eye on your dental health, and make it less likely that risky invasive gum disease treatment could be needed.
- Gum disease stays in the mouth
There is mounting evidence that dental problems like gum disease can have an impact elsewhere on the body. Gum disease has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and other conditions. It’s thought that bacteria in the mouth can travel via the blood stream to other areas, and cause trouble there.
So – it’s really important to keep tiptop mouth health, not just to protect your teeth but to help the rest of you! Make sure to schedule regular appointments with a dentist such as at Drs. Nicolas & Asp, to be sure any problems are spotted and treated early on.
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