A recent CDC report stated that around 48% of adults in America over 30 have gum disease. That’s almost half of the adult population. And yet gum diseases are not taken seriously.

Periodontal disease is more prevalent than we think. Caused due to plaque, it forms a sticky layer of bacteria on our teeth. The fact that its symptoms can go undetected for a prolonged period, as the early stages of periodontitis are usually painless, makes it a more worrying problem. In severe cases, the bacteria can reach the deep pockets of the tooth structure through the gum lines leading to tooth loss. This bacteria can even enter the bloodstream, causing long-term health problems. 

The impact of periodontal disease on our health is indeed detrimental. The lack of awareness and the huge proportion of myths associated with it make it all the more difficult to prevent, address and cure the disease. Here, we have debunked some common myths surrounding gingivitis and periodontitis to help you learn how to detect and protect your gums. 

  • Myth: There is no right or wrong way to floss.

Truth: Flossing may sound simple, but like over-brushing, you can harm your teeth or irritate your gums by flossing too hard or not following the correct technique. If done regularly, flossing should never hurt your gums or cause bleeding. When you first start flossing regularly, the gums may bleed for a week or two. If your gums are bleeding even after two weeks of regular flossing, visit your dentist to get an examination for the onset of gingivitis. Your dentist can also assist you in learning the right way to floss. Flossing aims to clean the areas your toothbrush can miss without irritating the gum line.

  • Myth: Gum bleeding is normal. 

Truth: Most adults experience some amount of bleeding from gums at some point in their lifetime. Although a small amount of bleeding occasionally caused while flossing or brushing hard is not a severe problem, regular gum bleeding is a warning sign of underlying gum disease. The main reason for bleeding gums is the plaque buildup at the gum line, which, if not removed, can lead to gum inflammation. Red, swollen, and tender gums, along with gum bleeding, are all signs of gingivitis. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also cause plaque buildup leading to bleeding gums. Frequent professional dental cleaning ensures the gums stay healthy.

  • Myth: Poor oral hygiene is the only cause of gum disease.

Truth: Although poor oral hygiene is one of the reasons for bacterial buildup that leads to gum diseases, other health and lifestyle factors also lead to periodontal disease. Some risk factors include tobacco use, stress, an unbalanced diet, hormonal changes, and diabetes. If you are following your oral hygiene routine and still experience symptoms of gingivitis, visit your dentist to check for any underlying health condition.

  • Myth: Having no cavities is a sign of no gum disease. 

Truth: Cavity-free teeth do not necessarily lower the chances of gum disease. Since gingivitis is a painless condition, it is hard to detect. A dental check-up at regular intervals ensures early detection of any plaque and tartar buildup. Gingivitis is a reversible condition eliminated by professional intervention. However, periodontitis is an advanced stage of gum disease, which may even lead to tooth loss.

  • Myth: There is no replacement for tooth loss due to gum disease.

Truth: CDC reports show that periodontal disease is the top cause of tooth loss for adults in America. This tooth loss need not be permanent and can be effectively replaced with a dental implant. Proper treatment for gum disease will ensure no losses in the future. 

  • Myth: Treatment for periodontal disease is painful and scary.

Truth: If periodontitis is still in its early stages, the treatment involves less invasive procedures such as scaling or root planing. An advanced stage of periodontitis may require surgical treatments. Talking to your dentist and sharing your fears can help ease the anxiety and get you timely treatment. 

If you are looking for a treatment for gingivitis or wondering about periodontitis treatment costs, reach out to Rana Dentistry, located in Redlands and Anaheim Hills, CA. We offer affordable treatment plans and regular dental examinations that will check bacteria buildup in your mouth and spot the signs of gum disease at its early stages. After all, a happy smile starts with happy gum!