Despite its prevalence, gum disease is rarely given the attention it deserves. In fact, there’s much that is misunderstood when it comes to this condition. The result? According to theAmerican Academy of Periodontology (AAP):
- There are now 65 million Americans affected by gum disease—surpassing diabetes in prevalence.
- One in every two adults age 30 and older has periodontal disease (a serious form of gum disease).
Getting the Facts
Gum disease may seem like a small matter to many. Left untreated, though, it can increase your likelihood of developing a host of serious health conditions, as well as the need for invasive dental treatments. How much do you know about this dental foe? Read on and let’s debunk four gum disease myths together.
Exposing the Myths
Myth #1: The only way to get gum disease is if you don’t brush your teeth. Untrue. A lackadaisical oral health routine can lead to the development of gum disease, but there are other contributing factors that may lead to its progression as well. Genetics, stress, or poor diet have been shown to play a role in developing this condition. The use of tobacco products has also proven to significantly increase your risk of gum disease. Myth #2: Bleeding when brushing and flossing isn’t a big deal. Bleeding gums are NOT normal. Bleeding, red or swollen gums are a sign of gum disease. If not treated properly, gum disease has been linked to tooth loss, heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. For these reasons, it’s important that you treat your gum disease as soon as possible. If your gums bleed when you brush, floss, or eat certain foods, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your dentist for a periodontal exam. Myth #3: Brushing and flossing more often will always cure gum disease on its own. False. Sometimes brushing and flossing just aren’t enough. Professional treatments and cleanings are the only way to be sure your gum disease is being treated properly. If allowed to progress, periodontal disease can cause permanent damage to bone structure or cause tooth loss. Myth #4: If a tooth is lost to gum disease, there’s no way to replace it. Happily, that’s not true either. With early treatment, the chances of losing one or more teeth to gum disease is greatly reduced. However, if gum disease has progressed to the point of tooth loss, it’s reassuring to know that there are restorative dental options for tooth replacement. Dental implants are one of the premier solutions for replacing missing teeth.
Take Action Today
Simple steps like brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and receiving an annual comprehensive periodontal evaluation from your dentist can help detect and prevent gum disease. If you have questions or concerns about the condition of your gums or teeth, we would love to hear from you. Contact Dr. Kim, Seattle dentist, for your consultation today and keep your smile at the top of its game! Please share this blog with friends who could benefit from this smile-saving info. Tell us: Which of the four myths do you think is believed the most and why?