Springfield, MO – It is estimated that nearly three out of four Americans suffer from some form of gum disease. But while 75 percent of us may suffer from the disease, roughly three percent actually seek out treatment for the disease. And with more research indicated gum disease has significant connections to other serious health issues such as heart disease and diabetes, it’s important that Americans know the facts.
“Periodontal disease is a serious issue for a majority of patients, and there can be potentially dangerous ramifications from failing to treat the disease properly,” says Dr. Tracy Davis, one of the Nixa dentists at Excel Dental. “There are a lot of myths associated with gum disease, and dental clinics across the country need to do more to educate patients about the seriousness of the disease and the importance of treating it.”
So what are some of those myths?
- Bleeding gums are no big deal. Many people who suffer from bleeding when brushing their teeth may brush it off as a simple case of brushing too vigorously. But bleeding and swollen gums is one of the first signs of potential gum disease. If you experience bleeding when brushing, it’s important to schedule a consultation with your dentist. This is especially true for pregnant women. Bleeding gums can be a side effect of pregnancy, but it’s important to rule out gum disease because periodontal disease during pregnancy can be attributed to both premature labor and low birth weight babies.
- I don’t have cavities so I can’t have gum disease. Unfortunately, being cavity-free doesn’t mean you’re in the clear from suffering from gingivitis. Gum disease affects the gums, and while teeth can be affected, it doesn’t cause cavities. Your teeth can be cavity-free, but you could still suffer tooth loss and be in in need of a tooth implant if your gum disease progresses too far.
- I don’t need to floss every day. Routine oral care, including brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day, are the best defense against periodontal disease. Yet, only about 13 percent of Americans floss every day! Regular and consistent flossing and brushing helps remove the plaque build-up that leads to periodontal disease.
- If I have gum disease, I’ll lose my teeth. This is no longer the case – especially if your gum disease is caught early. By taking proper care of your teeth and maintaining regular visits with your Ozark dentistry expert, you’ll be able to maintain your smile.
- I brush and floss every day, so I’m not at risk for gum disease. Unfortunately, this just isn’t true. There are some habits, such as smoking and chewing tobacco, which can make you more susceptible to gum disease. But for some people, it can simply be a case of bad genetics. If your parents experienced gum disease, you may as well. This is why it is important to maintain proper oral care.