Gum diseases are more common than we think. The development of gum disease is a complex process. Symptoms of gum diseases include enlarged and swollen gums, bleeding from gums, bad breath, pus discharge from gums, mobile teeth and bone loss around teeth. There are many myths regarding gum diseases. Let us break down these myths for you!
Myth no 1. Gum disease is not a very serious problem.
A periodontist or gum specialist, knows how important gum diseases really are! Patients should be aware that gum diseases can be treated in early phases without complicated treatments. If left untreated, gum diseases can produce severe conditions like severe sensitivity, bad looking teeth, loose teeth or worse, fallen teeth. If you are experiencing bleeding gums or any other gum related problem, visit your periodontist without any delay. Your periodontist can explain about gum diseases and their correlation with other medical problems like diabetes, osteoporosis, obesity, high blood pressure and cardio vascular diseases. So don’t think that gum diseases are not very serious, in fact they very much are!
Myth No 2. Gum disease can be treated at home.
Gum treatment at home is not possible – It is the most common lie told and blindly sold to you by TV commercials. Tooth paste and mouthwashes can prevent gum diseases and maintain oral hygiene, but they cannot treat the disease. There is always a difference between prevention and cure. Gum diseases are bacterial infections due to plaque and tar-tar on your teeth. Until and unless your dentist removes these causative factors from your teeth, your gum disease cannot be stopped or cured by any other magical elixir. After the treatment completion, your dentist may prescribe you medicated toothpastes, proper tooth brush and mouthwashes just to prevent reoccurrence of the diseases or to maintain results.
Myth No 3. Cavities cause gum diseases.
Cavities are harmful to your teeth. But cavities don’t directly cause gum diseases . Gum diseases are due to bacterial plaque and tar-tar present on your tooth.
Myth No 4.Gum diseases causes loss of all teeth.
Gum disease does not compulsorily cause loss of all teeth. Early diagnosis and treatment of gum diseases can prevent tooth loss. There are various treatments available to save as many as teeth possible by various nonsurgical and surgical treatments. Only if the case has advanced to a higher stage and is beyond repair, then you may require extraction of few such hopeless teeth.
Myth no 5. Cleaning or scaling of teeth weakens them.
Scaling doesn’t weaken your teeth. Some patients complain that their teeth were slightly less mobile when tar-tar deposits were present, but after removing tar-tar, teeth mobility has increased. The reason for increased tooth mobility is not scaling but the loss of bone around teeth due to gum disease. Deposits were falsely holding teeth together, that’s why mobility was less. The increased tooth mobility post scaling is transient and reduces 14-21 days after scaling. But until and unless we remove these disease causing deposits, disease cannot be controlled and will keep progressing and eating up bone. Gum diseases cause recession of gums which exposes tooth roots. Tooth roots are not covered by the protective layer of enamel and so, after getting exposed to oral cavity, they are sensitive to cold and hot foodstuffs. When deposits covered these exposed roots, you might not feel sensitivity but after scaling, roots get again exposed and you might exhibit sensitivity. This does not mean that scaling is the culprit of getting sensitivity, but it is due to the bone already lost to the disease. If we let the deposits remain, gums are not going to heal. They work as irritant factors and the gum disease will advance to higher stages.
Myth No 6. Bleeding from gums is not a big deal.
Bleeding from gums is the earliest sign of gum disease. Many times while brushing, we may see bleeding, but we ignore it assuming that excessive brushing and pressure caused that bleeding. Normal healthy gums do not bleed easily. So next time, if you see bleeding from gums, do visit the periodontist.
If you are experiencing any kind of gum disease related signs and symptoms, visit your nearby dentist. Gum diseases can be treated successfully in initial stages without any complex treatment. Check your oral hygiene status regularly by visiting your dentist at least once a year. Get professional cleaning done at least once in 6 months. If you are observing that you cannot maintain results even after brushing, visit the dentist and get professional cleaning done. Every individual has a different capacity of forming tartar. According to your tendency and hygiene efforts, dentist can advise the frequency of cleaning appointments for you.