Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that surround and support your teeth. It is generally caused by plaque that has hardened into tartar. Gum disease is completely preventable by exhibiting proper oral health, and can be treated fairly easily if caught within its early stages, known as gingivitis.
Every disease comes with its fair share of myths and so-called facts. It’s important to get your facts straight on gum disease so that you can properly educate yourself on how to prevent and treat it. Here are a few you may or may not have heard of:
MYTH: Gum disease is not really that common.
FACT: It’s actually quite the opposite! Gum disease is extremely common among people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gum disease is apparent among half of adults age 30 and older. It can form at any age but usually gets worse slowly. There are periods of rapid progression.
MYTH: If you don’t have cavities, then you won’t have gum disease.
FACT: For those who are cavity-free, you’re not totally in the clear yet. Many people don’t even realize they have gum disease, as it can initially be painless. If you’re gums bleed or are swollen, red or tender, you could already have gingivitis. This is the earliest stage of gum disease. Make sure to come in for a professional cleaning and don’t forget to routinely brush and floss to eliminate gingivitis.
MYTH: You will lose your teeth if you have gum disease.
FACT: Not true! You never have to lose any of your teeth if you practice proper oral hygiene. Brush your teeth, floss, and clean between your teeth everyday. Also, practice good nutrition and keep up with your regular visits to our dentist. We will make a treatment plan that’s right for you to keep your gum disease under control.
MYTH: Pregnancy and bleeding gums go hand in hand.
FACT: “Pregnancy gingivitis” may develop among some women, but not everyone experiences this condition. It is caused by the bacterial film that grows on the teeth and results in a buildup of plaque. Those who suffer from “pregnancy gingivitis” usually experience it in their first trimester. You can help prevent this from ever happening by taking good care of your oral health. Our dentist may also recommend that you have more frequent cleanings.
For more information on any of these gum disease myths, or to find out more about how you can prevent, contact our office today.