You probably see posters and hear us talk about gum disease during nearly every one of your visits to our dental office. The Schumacher & Bauer team is serious about educating our patients regarding the truth (and falsehoods) surrounding gum disease. Gum disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth, and it’s a very common cause for tooth loss in adults.
Here are six myths about gum disease we’d like to clear up a bit.
1. Gum disease isn’t common.
Gum disease is actually extremely common, and the CDC notes that almost half of adults over the age of 30 suffer from some type of gum disease. Gum disease is caused by plaque, which is the sticky film of bacteria that’s always forming on our teeth. Plaque that goes untouched between teeth can harden into tartar or calculus over time.
2. I have no cavities, so I won’t get gum disease.
Gum disease is painless, and many of the people who have gum disease have no idea that they have it. You may have absolutely no cavities and seemingly incredibly healthy teeth, and you may still be suffering from gum disease. Gums that easily bleed, are swollen or red are a sign of gingivitis, which is the earliest stage of gum disease. At this point gum disease is still reversible. When you catch gingivitis early the disease can normally be eliminated by a professional cleaning at your dental office followed up with a good routine of regular flossing and brushing.
3. Having gum disease automatically means you will lose your teeth.
If you practice good oral hygiene, you don’t have to lose any of your teeth to gum disease. If you brush and floss daily, clean between your teeth well, maintain a healthy diet and have regular dental visits, gum disease can be managed. The team at Schumacher & Bauer, DDS is happy to design a treatment plan to help you maintain good oral health.
4. Bleeding gums during pregnancy is normal.
Some women do develop a condition known as pregnancy gingivitis, but not everyone experiences this. Sometimes more frequent cleanings are suggested during pregnancy to avoid pregnancy gingivitis.
5. Everyone has bad breath sometimes.
A bad taste in your mouth or persistent bad breath can be a sign of something wrong, be it gum disease or other oral health problems. If constant bad breath is a problem for you, make an appointment to see our dental team, as it’s often an indicator of a more serious issue such as gum disease.
6. I have diabetes. Does that mean I will get gum disease?
If you have diabetes, you are at a higher risk for developing oral health problems such as gum disease. The best way to prevent gum disease when you’re diabetic is to floss and brush regularly using best brushing practices and to be sure to have dental check-ups every six months.
If you have any questions about gum disease and whether you’re at risk for that as well as other oral health problems, please be sure to ask the Schumacher & Bauer team questions during your dental visits. We’re happy to answer any questions and address any concerns you may have, and we want to work with you to help you prevent gum disease. Contact us today to set up your dental appointment with our talented oral health team.
Source: MouthHealthy.org, “Myths About Gum Disease”