If you’re dealing with swollen, bleeding, or otherwise irritated gums, there’s a good chance you might be battling gum disease. But unfortunately, many patients with this condition either don’t realize they have it, or don’t realize the risks of leaving it untreated! This is due in part to the many myths floating around about gum disease. Keep reading as your dentist debunks four of these common myths so that you can feel confident about getting your smile the help it needs!
Myth #1: Gum Disease Is Pretty Uncommon
It’s estimated that roughly half of all adults in the US have some form of gum disease, meaning that it’s actually quite a widespread problem. And it’s not just limited to adults, either—on average, 50% of children have some form of it too! It’s usually the result of poor oral hygiene and is difficult to detect with the untrained eye, which is part of why it’s such a prevalent oral health issue.
Myth #2: Bleeding While Brushing Is Normal
There are many reasons for your gums to occasionally bleed, such as brushing your teeth too hard or using a toothbrush with particularly hard bristles. But bleeding gums aren’t normal, and overlooking even a drop of blood in the sink might lead to serious problems later on. Healthy gums don’t bleed, and it’s often an indicator that the gums are inflamed due to periodontal disease. When food debris and bacteria build up on your teeth and gums, the residue will harden over time and become very difficult to remove. This buildup is what causes inflammation and bleeding while brushing and needs to be addressed by a professional.
Myth #3: Gum Disease Only Affects Your Mouth
Periodontal disease affects more than just your gums—it literally puts your whole body at risk! Though it might start in your mouth, untreated gum disease can progress and spread into your bloodstream and threaten the rest of your body including major organs like your heart and brain. This puts you at risk for all sorts of medical issues including diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. Not to mention, gum disease is also one of the leading causes of tooth loss, and without your full set of teeth, you’ll inevitably struggle to eat and talk normally.
Myth #4: Gum Damage Is Completely Irreversible
Thanks to advancements in modern dentistry, gum disease can be treated and the symptoms can be effectively managed based on the patient’s specific needs. Infection can be addressed with antibiotics, for example, and stubborn tartar and plaque can be removed from teeth and gum tissue using various means. Even gum grafts and dental bone grafts are possibilities for addressing lost gum and bone matter.
Don’t let these myths about gum disease fool you; it’s still a serious condition that warrants prompt treatment, as it’s capable of rapidly advancing and causing you all sorts of grief!
About the Practice
The team at Rocky Mountain Periodontal Specialists has proudly served patients and families in the Colorado Springs area for several years. The practice is fortunate to house three skilled specialists: Dr. Geoff Haradon, Dr. Karl Lackler, and Dr. Tyler Haradon. They’re thrilled to offer a wide range of preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental services. If you have any questions about the article or would like to schedule a visit, you can contact the practice online or by phone for assistance: (719) 574-4867.