Gum disease is amongst the worst ailments poor oral health can offer. It is painful, disruptive, and can lead to long term complications across your body. With such a reputation, there are bound to be myths about the disease, so in this article, we will look at the most common myths surrounding gum disease, and begin telling you what is fact and what is fiction.
- Gum disease isn’t very common
As nice as that would be, gum disease is unfortunately, very prevalent across all corners of the globe. Gum disease actually affects far more people than you may at first think. In fact, around half of all adults aged 30 and above have all have or have had gum disease during their life! Although the risk of developing gum disease does increase with age, this is still a very shocking statistic, and should encourage proper care and maintenance of your teeth!
- Poor hygiene is the only cause of gum disease
Whilst it is very true that brushing and general good care of your teeth will fight off gum disease, this does not make poor oral hygiene the sole reason behind gum disease developing. Excessive tobacco use, poor diet and your family’s genetics all have their role to play when it comes to gum disease.
- Bleeding gums are perfectly normal
If you find that your gums are bleeding when either brushing or flossing your teeth, consult your dentist as soon as possible. Bleeding gums are not a normal occurrence, and often are indicators of an underlying problem. Gum disease characterises itself as swollen and tender gums, and the bleeding is a side effect of irritation to them. Seeing your dentist will allow you to receive a proper diagnosis and may prevent it developing into periodontitis- a more aggressive, permanent stage of gum disease.
- I can’t have gum disease if I don’t have any cavities
Just because you haven’t had any cavities prior, this is no reason as to why you could escape gum disease. Gum disease is at first, painless and hard to spot. This means many people may have it but be none the wiser. Tender, bleeding gums are a sign of gingivitis, which is the first stage of gum disease. Gingivitis is the only completely reversable stage of gum disease, so it is important that it is remedied as soon as the symptoms present themselves to you.
- Bad breath isn’t a sign of gum disease
Whilst this may be unpleasant, bad breath can also be a sign of gum disease, amongst other oral problems. For this reason, it is imperative to investigate whatever is causing bad breath, through taking the appropriate steps. Book an appointment with your dentist, as they will be able to determine how healthy your mouth is, and whether you need more regular appointments or a referral to your G.P.
- Bleeding gums are normal during pregnancy
Some women may develop a condition known as ‘pregnancy gingivitis’, but this is by no means a common occurrence for most women. Taking extra precautions and care whilst brushing your teeth can help fight this, and you may be recommended to clean your teeth more frequently by your dentist if this does develop.
- Gum disease only affects your mouth
Gum disease is not limited to just your mouth. In fact, there is a lot of research available showing the link between good oral care and improved health overall. Experts have even linked gum disease in assisting other diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, strokes, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.
- Periodontist visits are scary
Periodontists have an incredible amount of experience behind them, and are experts with dealing with gum disease, so there is no reason to be scared! Periodontists are well equipped with the knowledge and modern technology to make your appointment as quick and comfortable as possible.
- You don’t need to floss
Flossing is an integral part of an oral hygiene routine. Flossing allows us to remove any excess bacteria or food debris from our mouth that our toothbrush cannot get too. This is so important when fighting gum disease, as without flossing we are not thoroughly cleaning our mouth and are encouraging the development of gum disease.
- Losing a tooth to gum disease is permanent
Although gum disease is amongst the highest causes of tooth loss in adults, that doesn’t necessarily mean that if a tooth is lost to gum disease, it is lost forever. If you have lost a tooth, book an appointment with your dentist to explore your options further. You will most likely receive a dental implant to replace the old tooth, as it is the most reliable and comfortable replacement. Receiving a dental implant is not a complicated process, and normally only involves fitting a screw to your jaw where the tooth used to be, and then covering it with a crown.
There are many myths surrounding gum disease, however the disease is perfectly containable, if caught early on. Regular check-ups with your dentist will help spot any signs of gum disease developing, and consistent brushing and flossing will help fight it off. If you think you may be suffering from gum disease, require an implant, get in contact with Malvern Dentists today, for a friendly, tailored, and professional service!