January 9, 2023
Oral health is oftentimes just thought of as taking care of your teeth. But there’s more to it than that! Your gums cover the bones of your mouth and pearly whites, as well as provide a protective barrier against bacteria. When you maintain a consistent dental routine (like brushing and flossing), you can protect both your teeth and gums. It’s important to not neglect any signs of gum (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 the healthiest smile possible!
Myth #1: Gum Disease is Rare
It may shock you to learn that gum disease is much more common than you may think it is. It is actually the most common oral health problem in the world! It’s estimated that almost half of all Americans (47%) over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal disease. And it’s not just limited to adults; on average, 50% of children have some stage of it, too.
Since it is so common, your dentist is well-equipped to deal with 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 periodontal treatment.
Myth #2: Bleeding Gums are Normal
You may have noticed when you are brushing your teeth, your gums begin to bleed. Or perhaps when you are flossing and spit into the sink, you see that your saliva is tinged with pink. Since gum disease is so common, it is easy to falsely believe that bleeding gums is normal. Even if you think you are applying too much pressure during your dental routine, 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 as soon as possible.
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 whole 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 progresses too far and you place yourself at risk of tooth loss. 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 factor regarding our oral health. By being aware of the common myths and maintaining your biannual dental visits, you can count on your smile to be healthy for years to come!
About the Dentist
Dr. Natalya Nagornaya and her team at Countryside Dental keep the smiles of Buffalo Grove healthy and whole. She graduated from the University of Illinois College of Dentistry and is an active member of several dental associations, including the American Dental Association. With over two decades of experience, she can help you and your family achieve healthy teeth and gums with her wide range of dental services. To schedule an appointment, contact her through her website or call (847) 634-2525.
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