Are your gums healthy? If they are pink and firm, then yes, they are. If not, then you may be part of the 64.7 million American adults who suffer from gum disease. Gum disease is an infection caused by plaque that, if left untreated, can lead to your gums bleeding and your teeth falling out.
There are two main types of gum disease that you can suffer from. These are:
- Gingivitis. This is the mildest form of gum disease, usually caused by poor oral care. At this stage, gum disease can still be reversed. AccuCare Dental Centers, P.C. recommends going to the dentist for proper treatment to restore the health of your gums. You must also maintain gum health with the correct oral care at home.
- Periodontitis. This is advanced gum disease that has gotten below the gumline. Periodontitis doesn’t just affect your gum tissue, but it also affects your teeth and causes deterioration of your jawbone, which will lead to tooth loss and bone atrophy.
Gum disease is a serious issue that is unfortunately surrounded by many misconceptions. Here are just some of the myths about periodontal disease and why they are wrong.
Myth 1: Bleeding Gums Aren’t a Big Deal
It isn’t normal for your gums to bleed. In fact, bleeding gums are one of the signs of periodontal disease, alongside red, swollen, and tender gums. When you see blood while brushing, you should speak with a dentist as soon as possible.
Myth 2: Gum Disease is Not Common
According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 46.7% of the adult American population has one form of gum disease, ranging from mild, to moderate, and severe. This is because, as we age, we become more susceptible to infections. 17.20% of seniors aged 65 and above have periodontal disease.
Myth 3: Poor Oral Hygiene is the Only Cause of Gum Disease
Though poor oral hygiene can be a contributing factor, it’s not the only cause of gum disease. Regular smoking, as well as stress, diabetes, an unhealthy diet, and genetics, can raise your risk for this condition.
Myth 4: Gum Disease is a Minor Infection
Since gum disease doesn’t usually cause pain as it gets worse, you probably won’t notice the damage that it is inflicting on your gums and teeth. However, just because you don’t feel pain doesn’t mean that gum disease is a minor infection. The condition can lead to tooth loss, which changes your appearance, causes bad breath, and affects your ability to chew food properly. It can also lead to gum abscesses and jawbone atrophy.
Myth 5: Gum Disease Will Go Away With Enough Brushing and Flossing
While routine dental care, like brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, is a great way to prevent gum disease, doing so excessively can actually damage your gums even more. The only way that you can get rid of this condition is by catching it in its early stages and getting treatment and regular cleanings at the dentist.
Gum disease is real and can cause major damage to your teeth and gums. Protect your smile by practicing proper oral care and by going to your dentist regularly.