What do you know about gum disease? Do you understand what causes it, or how many people develop it? How about the risk factors that face long-time sufferers? it’s tragic that such a common problem is so misunderstood – it costs a lot of people their smiles!
At Edgewood Dental Care we’ve long been on a mission to stomp out gum disease, but it’s not a battle that can be won very simply. There is a lot of bad information out there, and for every person who hasn’t been misinformed there are several more who just plain don’t know about it! We want to take some time today to clear up myths and misunderstandings about gum disease so that you’re armed in the best way possible: with knowledge.
Myth #1: Bleeding Gums Aren’t A Big Deal
Gum disease starts when oral bacteria makes its way between your gums and teeth. It’s easy for it to happen if you don’t brush and floss properly, and once it gets there it’s hard to get out.
Your body reacts to the invading bacteria the way it does with all other infections: it sends white blood cells to the area to fight it off. Unfortunately this doesn’t work very well in your mouth. What you end up with is swollen gums, discoloration, and a lot of bleeding when you brush.
Some people assume that a little blood is normal, but it isn’t unless you’re brushing way too hard or dealing with the early stages of gum disease. When you see blood in your toothpaste it’s time to schedule an appointment!
Myth #2: You Can’t Get Gum Disease Unless You Have Cavities
The source of both cavities and gum disease may be the same (oral bacteria) but they work in completely different ways. You could have a mouth full of cavities and have completely healthy gums, and vice-versa!
Cavities are caused by oral bacteria producing acids that erode your enamel. That same bacteria can also get under your gumline where it causes gum disease, but the two conditions aren’t really related beyond that. Don’t assume that just because you don’t have cavities that you’re free from the risk of gum disease: your mouth is always full of oral bacteria that’s just itching for a fight.
Myth #3: Gum Disease Is Pretty Rare
This is one of the most dangerously pervasive myths we hear. A lot of patients don’t realize that by age 30 around half of people will develop at least some kind of gum disease! As you age that number just keeps increasing, up to 60 percent over the course of your life!
The chances that you will develop at least a minor periodontal infection are quite good, and they increase with the mindset that it won’t happen to you. The only sure-fire way to prevent gum disease is to take proper care of your teeth by brushing, flossing, and getting a dental checkup every six months.
Myth #4: It’s Normal To Have Bleeding Gums While You’re Pregnant
Hormonal changes during pregnancy make it much easier for women to develop gum disease, and giving birth won’t get rid of it! Pregnancy gingivitis affects around 40 percent of women carrying a child, and it’s dangerous to you and your unborn baby.
The chance that a pregnant woman will pass harmful oral bacteria on to her child skyrockets when pregnancy gingivitis strikes. You have to be incredibly diligent about your oral health when pregnant. Not just for you, but for your baby as well!
Myth #5: Gum Disease Is Nearly Impossible To Treat
We see a lot of defeated patients who assume that their gum disease is a sentence to tooth loss, dentures, and a later life filled with hassle and misery. It doesn’t have to be that way, though: gum disease can actually be quite easy to treat at our Edgewood office!
Using a combination of deep cleanings and LANAP laser therapy we can beat back bacteria and restore your smile to a healthy, happy state. We’re also able to restore gums lost to periodontal disease using the state-of-the-art Pinhole® technique. Taking quick action to address your gum disease is essential, but even advanced cases can be treated – you don’t have to resign yourself to tooth loss!
Take Action Now
Even the earliest stages of gum disease – swelling, bleeding, and minor recession – can be dangerous if left untreated. Make a commitment to your oral health by scheduling a dental exam at our Edgewood office today!