4 Myths About Gum Disease

  • January 4, 2016

Dentists want their patients to stay healthy. At Beaumont Family Dentistry, our goal is to help you and your family have the healthiest mouths possible.

This is why we care about the condition of your teeth and your gums. Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is both more common and more concerning than you may realize.

If left untreated, you could experience a variety of problems from sore, tender gums to loose teeth that feel like that will fall out at any moment.

If you live in Lexington, Richmond, or anywhere in between, you owe it to yourself to visit one of our three convenient locations. We offer preventive care, and, if needed, non-surgical treatments for periodontal disease.

With that in mind, we want to address some of the myths about gum disease that have been identified by the American Academy of Periodontology.

Myth 1: Bleeding gums are not a problem.

When your gums are bleeding, this should be considered a sign that something is wrong. Bleeding gums are one of the things we notice during a routine cleaning, and it’s one of the reasons we will remind you of the importance of flossing (more on this later).

The truth is that bleeding gums are a symptom of the early stages of gum disease. This could occur when you are brushing or flossing your teeth. If this happens, it should be considered a sign that you are not flossing enough, or you aren’t flossing correctly.

If your condition gets worse, your gums may even start bleeding when you bite into harder foods. If this is happening, please make plans to visit us as soon as you can.

Myth 2: You don’t need to floss every day.

According to the American Academy of Periodontologists, 13.5 percent of Americans floss every day. According to the American Dental Hygienists Association, 80 percent of Americans have some form of gum disease, and according to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly half of American adults periodontitis (a more advanced form of gum disease).

So, yes, flossing is something you should be doing every day.

Brushing your teeth will remove a lot of bacteria and plaque from the surface of your teeth. It will not remove any bacteria and plaque from between your gums and teeth, however.

Dental floss, or some other interdental device, should be used daily to remove plaque from those places you just can not reach with your toothbrush (no matter how fancy it is).

Myth 3: If you lose a tooth because of gum disease, there’s nothing you can do.

The truth is you probably can’t place your tooth back where it belongs and expect it to stay. But that’s a far cry from saying there is nothing you can do about it.

Dental implants have changed a lot with regard to restoring the appearance of your teeth and the full function of your mouth.

A dental implant can be placed inside the bones of your mouth. A single implant can support a dental crown, and multiple implants can support a dental bridge or a full set of dentures.

We genuinely hope your gum disease never advances to this stage, but we also know there are ways to restore your bite force if it does.

Myth 4: Gum disease only comes from poor oral hygiene.

We wish this were the case, but it’s not. Some people are more prone to periodontal disease than others.

This may be because of traits they inherited from their families. This may be because of a side effect of some medication they are taking, or it may be because of a particular disease. Researchers are still studying the connections between periodontal disease and conditions like diabetes and heart disease, for example.

Treating Gum Disease

In modern dentistry, we can treat gum disease without surgery in most cases.

Routine cleanings and exams are an essential preventive step, in addition to your daily brushing and flossing. During a cleaning, we’ll remove any plaque or tartar you may have missed, and we will examine your gums for signs of disease.

If we see something that needs further care, we may consider scaling and root planing. This is a deeper cleaning procedure to remove plaque and tartar that may have built up around the roots of your teeth.

We also offer laser treatments to remove the damaged tissue and seal it close, and we may give you Arestin, an antibiotic gel that reduces your risk of a new infection.

Prevention is the best way to fight gum disease, but treating it early can save you (and your teeth) down the road. To make an appointment, call any Beaumont Family Dentistry office in Lexington or use one of our online forms for the office closest to you.

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