We’ve got some facts about gum disease that would probably startle you. For instance — almost half of adults over the age of 35 have this oral health condition to some extent. Or how about that gum disease has been linked to a number of overall health problems, like cardiovascular disease, respiratory issues, and others?
The severity of gum disease remains little talked about. And instead, a number of myths remain about who can and can’t get gum disease. Keep reading to learn why one of the most pervasive gum disease myths is a lie — and how believing it could reap serious harm to your oral and overall health.
Cavities and Gum Disease
Unfortunately, many people wrongly believe that as long as they do not have any cavities, they are free from worry about gum disease. Wrong. While frequently having cavities can mean that you are at a higher risk of developing the periodontal condition, there’s nothing saying that people who have never had a cavity can’t have severe gum disease.
Having a better understanding of what gum disease is and how it forms can help to explain why this common myth just isn’t true.
What Is Gum Disease?
Gum disease is an infection of the periodontal (gum) tissue that causes red, swollen, tender, and bleeding gums. In the beginning stages, it is known as gingivitis — and it can still be reversed if caught quickly. Once the infection progresses to moderate to severe gum disease, it can never be fully “treated.” Your dentist can, however, help you manage gum disease to prevent the loss of teeth and related health problems.
Gum disease is most frequently caused by insufficient oral hygiene. Routine brushing, flossing, and visits to the dentist are crucial for preventing the plaque and tartar buildup that causes gum disease. If you smoke or use tobacco, you are at a higher risk of gum disease and should be especially vigilant about your routine visits.
Gum Disease Treatment
As previously stated, gum disease can never be fully “cured” once it progresses beyond gingivitis. With scaling and root planing (SRP) treatments, your dentist can remove infected tissue and smooth the tooth’s root to help prevent reinfection. More severe cases of periodontal disease may require surgical procedures.
We also use Perio Protect, a medication which is applied directly to the pockets of infection to help manage oral bacteria. Whatever treatment is right for you, our team will provide useful information to help you achieve a more thorough clean at home with better brushing and flossing tips. Visiting us for treatment and following these instructions will help you enjoy better oral health for years to come.
Now that we’ve separated fact from fiction about this one persistent myth, we’d like to ask — when was YOUR last visit to the dentist? If it has been more than six months, we invite you to schedule an appointment today.
About the Author
Dr. Maxwell Hejazi is a general dentist providing comprehensive dental care for patients of all ages. To learn more about his services or to schedule an appointment for gum disease treatment, please don’t hesitate to contact us today!