5 Gum Disease Myths and the Truths Behind Them
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half of all adults who are at least 30 years old are affected by gum disease. Despite this, there are many misconceptions about this condition that can cause people not to seek treatment even when they need it. If you want your gums to stay healthy, then it’s important to learn the truth behind the following 5 common gum disease myths.
Myth #1: A Smile That’s Free of Cavities is Also Free of Gum Disease
While many people with gum disease also have cavities, the two issues don’t always go hand in hand. Even if your teeth are free of decay, harmful oral bacteria can still attack your gums, eventually leading to the first stage of gum disease known as gingivitis. As such, you should always keep an eye on your gums to make sure they’re still in good health.
Myth #2: It’s Normal for Your Gums to Bleed Sometimes
Some people occasionally notice a bit of blood after brushing or flossing, but many dismiss it as nothing to worry about. However, the truth is that gums that bleed easily are a warning sign of gingivitis. If you don’t have your gingivitis treated promptly, it could eventually turn into periodontitis and put your entire smile at risk. You should therefore call your dentist right away if you see signs of bleeding gums.
Myth #3: You Will Know If You Have Gum Disease
There are a few symptoms that can point to gum disease, such as gums that look red and inflamed. Unfortunately, sometimes the warning signs are hard to detect. Consequently, there are plenty of people who are currently suffering from gum disease and don’t even realize it. The most reliable way to find out if you have gum disease is to visit your dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning.
Myth #4: You Will Only Get Gum Disease If You’re Unhealthy
It is true that gum disease is often associated with poor oral hygiene and health conditions like diabetes. However, there are other risk factors as well. For example, if you suffer from stress, your body might have a harder time fighting off infections in your gums. Furthermore, some people are more susceptible to gum disease than others due to genetics. If you fall in this category, you could have a higher-than-average risk for gum disease even if you take excellent care of your smile.
Myth #5: You Will Lose All Your Teeth If You Have Gum Disease
Gum disease can eventually lead to tooth loss, but the good news is that this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. If the condition is detected and treated by a professional while it’s still in its early stages, you can avoid losing any teeth. Talk to your dentist as soon as possible to learn what treatments are available for gum disease.