Oral health encompasses more than just your teeth—it includes your gums, too! They cover the bones of your mouth and pearly whites, as well as provide a protective barrier against bacteria. By regularly maintaining a good dental routine, you can provide protection to both your teeth and gums. But what if you are noticing some negative changes in your gums? It’s important to not neglect any early signs of gum disease (periodontal disease) by believing it isn’t that big of a deal. Your dentist is here to bust four myths about gum disease so that misconceptions about it never will keep you from your best smile!
Myth #1: Gum Disease is Rare
It might shock you to learn that gum disease is much more common than you may think it is. In fact, it’s the most common oral health problem in the world! It’s estimated that almost half of all Americans (47%) over the age of 30 are suffering from some stage of periodontal disease. And it’s not just limited to adults; on average, 50% of children have some stage of it as well.
Since it is so common, your dentist is well-equipped to deal it. If you start noticing the early signs of periodontal disease (sore, red, puffy and/or bleeding gums), visit your dentist as soon as possible for treatment.
Myth #2: Bleeding Gums are Normal
You may have noticed your gums begin to bleed as you brush your teeth. Or perhaps when you are flossing and spit into the sink, you see that your saliva is tinged with pink. Since gum disease is common, some people may think that bleeding gums are normal. Even if you think you are applying too much pressure while caring for your teeth, you are more than likely suffering from early gum disease. Your gums are not supposed to bleed and when they do, it could be a sign that they are inflamed from the buildup of bad bacteria. It’s your mouth’s way of telling you to visit your dentist!
Myth #3: Losing teeth is Inevitable
While it is true that you can lose your teeth by not tending to the early signs of gum disease and allowing it to progress to its late stages, it is completely preventable! Periodontal disease does not automatically mean you will lose your pearly whites. With the right treatment and a good oral hygiene routine, your smile can remain complete and healthy!
Myth #4: Gum Disease is Irreversible
The last important myth to bust about gum disease is that it is irreversible! As stated above, the key is paying attention to the signs and seeing your dentist right away so it can be treated before it becomes irreversible. Your dentist can offer periodontal therapies like scaling and root planing, which target the buildup of tartar on the teeth below the gum line. There is also antibiotic therapy, which is a topical treatment applied to the gums to dissolve any bad bacteria.
Gum disease is a common but serious thing to consider regarding our oral health. Armed with the awareness of gum disease and your dentist’s help, you can count on your smile to be healthy for years to come.
About the Author
Dr. Candida Castillo and her team at Aesthetic Dental Studio of RI are eager to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy. With over 25 years of experience, she offers a full range of services, including various periodontal therapies. Voted as Rhode Island’s Top Dentist by RI Monthly Magazine 7 years in a row, Dr. Castillo uses personalized plans and advanced dental technology to keep your smile whole and healthy for years to come. To schedule an appointment, contact her through her website or call (401) 232-7777.