Gum disease: when you hear that phrase at the dentist’s office it can trigger a lot of fears, but it’s actually a very common diagnosis. Your gums are very sensitive to bacteria and they can easily become inflamed without proper dental care. This can lead lead to gingivitis and eventually periodontal disease.
Despite the fact that we can all develop gum disease, many people are lax about oral hygiene and regular dentist appointments. Unfortunately, this can mean bad news for the gums. This is partly due to the misinformation that so often circulates about the issue of periodontal disease. Here are 5 myths you may have heard about gum disease—and the real story behind this problem.
Myth #1: If you have gum disease, you’ll have noticeable symptoms
Gum disease begins when bacteria and plaque begin to build up beneath the gum line, causing inflammation, bleeding, and bad breath.The pathogens can also enter the bloodstream and find its way to numerous other health problems. Despite these issues, gum disease can be difficult to detect in its early stages. Until it becomes advanced, the only symptoms may be minor and inconsequential. Many people don’t think twice about bleeding gums during brushing, but this is a sign that the gums have inflammation and you may be already experiencing periodontal disease.
Myth #2: Brushing your teeth every day will prevent periodontal disease
Brushing your teeth at least twice a day is the first line of defense against gum disease, but this habit alone won’t prevent bacteria from attacking the bone that holds your teeth in place. Daily flossing and regular visits to your dentist also play an important role in preventing gum disease. Even with good oral hygiene, gum disease can develop. This is why you should schedule checkups with a Miami periodontist and have dental cleanings on a regular basis, ideally every 90 days.
Myth #3: Gum disease isn’t very common
Many people feel that because they brush and floss, they won’t develop gum disease. In fact, many people think that gum disease is an uncommon issue. However, according to the CDC, about 50 percent of people over the age of 30 have some form of periodontal disease, and the risk only increases with age. This is why it is so important to monitor your oral health and keep an eye out for symptoms like sensitive gums, bleeding, and bad breath.
Myth #4: No cavities mean healthy gums
Just because your teeth haven’t affected by decay doesn’t mean your gums are totally healthy. Tooth and gum health, though related, do not necessarily affect one another. It is possible to have healthy teeth with no cavities and still have sensitive, inflamed, and bleeding gums.
Myth #5: Periodontal disease only affects oral health
On its own, gum disease can have some pretty devastating effects when left untreated. Worse news? It can actually increase the risk for many other diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, colon cancer, kidney and lung infections, and low fertility. Gum disease has even been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Bacteria enters the bloodstream through the gums and begins to wreak havoc in the body, often with devastating consequences.
If you think you might have gum disease, don’t be alarmed. Periodontal disease can be addressed without the need for painful surgeries.
Still have questions? Get answers from an expert. Drs. Gallardo and Lamas are respected gum disease experts offering cutting-edge treatment techniques and expert advice to all periodontal patients. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call our Miami, FL, office today at 305-547-8687.