One definition of the word “myth” is a misrepresentation of the truth. There are many myths in circulation. Some are blatantly absurd, but others sound like they could be true and are readily accepted. I want to address myths about a serious oral health condition.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease (periodontitis) is a serious gum infection causing damage to the soft tissue and bone supporting the teeth. In advanced cases, it can lead to loose teeth or loss of teeth.
Gum Disease Myths
Gum disease is strictly an oral health problem. Harmful bacteria in the mouth can spread through the body. Conditions such as stroke, heart disease, and diabetes are linked to gum disease.
Only people with poor oral hygiene get gum disease. Poor oral hygiene contributes to developing gum disease, but there are other factors. Tobacco use, hormonal changes, genetics, stress, and poor diet are other risk factors for this disease.
Bleeding gums is normal. Swollen, red, tender, or bleeding gums are signs of gum disease. If you notice bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth, schedule a visit with us.
Daily flossing isn’t necessary. By flossing every day, you help to reduce plaque buildup, which can lead to gum disease.
Cavity-free people don’t get gum disease. Gum disease can develop with no symptoms. It’s great not to have cavities, but it doesn’t prevent you from getting gum disease.
Gum disease is rare. The chance of developing gum disease increases with age. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 47.2 percent of people over the age of 30 in the U.S. have gum disease.
Tooth loss is unavoidable. The early stages of gum disease can be reversed with treatment. For patients who have gum disease, there are treatments to keep it under control. If gum disease it too advanced, tooth replacement options are available.
Laser Periodontal Therapy (LANAP)
A treatment offered in my office is laser periodontal therapy (LANAP) it’s a non-surgical laser-based gum disease treatment. LANAP removes diseased tissue while leaving healthy gum tissue intact. The therapy offers less pain and discomfort for the patient and allows for faster healing. Also, it may save the bone surrounding the teeth.
Now that I’ve cleared up several myths about gum disease, I want to help you prevent it. The best ways to prevent gum disease is to practice good oral hygiene and get regular dental exams and cleanings. How long has it been since your last dental visit? Contact my office to schedule an appointment.