Did you know these 3 Myths about Gum Disease?

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Our younger audience will definitely get this. It’s so “Fetch.”

Not everyone understands the power of flossing, but Mean Girl Rachel McAdams does. Not flossing leads to bad breath, cavities, expensive treatment, and -dentists’ #1 arch nemesis – GUM DISEASE. There are THREE huge myths about gum disease. Don’t believe ’em for one second!

Myth #1: I can’t do anything about my gum disease.

Floss & toothbrushes are incredibly inexpensive when compared to the rising costs of health care. A visit to the dental hygienist won’t cost you more than a hundred dollars or so – a number that PALES in comparison to the cost of diabetes prescriptions. It seems easy enough to take care of yet so many people don’t. The reason? Keep reading.

Myth #2: You know if you have gum disease.

Nope. Nada. Never happenin’. It’s referred to as “the silent killer” because most people do not recognize the symptoms of bleeding gums or bad breath that really indicate a problem in the mouth. And like most people, life gets in the way and we just simply don’t go to the dentist. If it doesn’t hurt, people don’t have the need to address it. SilentlyDr. Oz and Gum Disease, it will eat away your bone and create infections in the mouth and you won’t even know it.

Myth #3: Gum Disease problems don’t affect the rest of my body.

Gum disease, or the clinical name “periodontal disease” is soooo bad that it has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Don’t believe us? Ask Dr. Oz, arguably one of the most recognizable doctors today.

Bottom line: Make sure you are seeing your dentist every six months. If you have been diagnosed with gum disease you should be going every three months. I know, I know, I know, insurance doesn’t cover additional cleanings each year. But you must ask yourself if the cost of losing your teeth and developing further health issues is worth the extra hundred dollars you will spend on teeth cleanings each year. Pretty sure you’ll say no. Now, go call the dentist!

Interested in reading more about gum disease? Check out another article: Gum Disease, Deep Cleaning Explained.


 

Dentist in Sacramento Office Manager

Kristen is the office manager of Gateway Oaks Family Dentistry. Her extensive training in the dental field has joined her love of writing. Kristen enjoys educating the public about dental topics. She graduated from the University of Kansas. Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

 

 

 

 

 

I Hate Flossing! Part I

A former flossing procrastinator turn floss advocate; why to floss, how to floss, and the dangers of not flossing.

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Specks of food on the bathroom mirror, the gums are bleeding and it hurts, those dang molars are hard to get to, your hands can’t fit in your mouth, the list goes on. Tell me I didn’t list at least one reason why you don’t floss.

Here’s a little note: people go to college for years to learn how to prevent, diagnose, and treat people who don’t floss! Yes, they are called dental hygienists and dentists.

Imagine showering but never once washing behind your ears, under your armpits, in between your toes, and even, ahem, the private areas. Kinda gross, right? That’s what it’s like when you don’t floss. Your toothbrush cannot get in between each tooth and under the gum line to get the food that has collected there. Now think about how long that food stays between your teeth before it can naturally be dissolved. You don’t know how long it will take because you don’t even know that there is food in your teeth. But there is!

I bet you are thinking that flossing does not apply to you because you go to the dentist every six months and have been since you can remember and you cannot recall the last time that you got a cavity. I know this excuse because my husband uses it every day. And he’s right; he goes to the dentist every six months for a cleaning and hasn’t had a cavity since high school.

But look back at those cleanings that you received. Was the hygienist having a hard time getting the floss between your teeth? Did you have bleeding gums? Did she overload your goodie bag with floss samples followed by a stern reminder that you won’t be so lucky at the next cleaning? Yeah… that’s because while right now your gums feel fine they can take a drastic turn.

A very painful and expensive alternative to daily flossing is a deep cleaning. Yay! Doesn’t that sound like fun!? Hardly. A deep cleaning can be extremely invasive and in some cases down-right uncomfortable. A deep cleaning is something that has to be done because there is plaque underneath the gum line. Cases range from small to severe but either way the hygienist scrapes the plaque off the root of tooth. Ouch.  I think I’ll pass.

You must choose to jump in with both feet and commit to flossing. While the dentist recommends twice a day most people just can’t do it. So, I propose that if you can only do it once a day then you must do it at night. That way your teeth are clean when you go to bed and bacteria doesn’t have a chance to grow when you are sleeping with gunk in between your teeth.

Flossing for me was painful at first and if I go a week without flossing my gums will be a little sore after I floss again. But I have the knowledge of what can happen to my teeth and pocketbook if I choose not to floss and really I’d rather save myself the trouble and just floss. I leave floss all over the house, on my nightstand, on the coffee table, by the computer, and I use it whenever I’m lounging around. I suggest you follow this advice for TEETH’s sake!

“Dirty Mouth? Clean It Up!”

What is good oral hygiene? The mouth should look and smell healthy, meaning that your teeth are free of debris (feel like flossing?), gums are pink and do not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss, and bad breath is not a common problem for you. Bleeding gums and constant bad breath? Time to make a dentist appointment! Good oral hygiene allows you to smile and be confident. It is good for your overall well-being.

While it is unlikely that poor oral hygiene is the sole cause for the related conditions below, poor oral hygiene combined with the other risk factors can be a dangerous combination. Gum disease has been linked to heart attacks, clogged arteries, diabetes, and premature births.

Severe forms of gum disease have been linked to heart disease, clogged arteries, strokes, too. Gum disease has also been known to cause premature birth in pregnant women. Have diabetes? Your body’s inability to control your blood sugar and fight infections leaves your gums undefended against disease. Those with diabetes  tend to lose their teeth much quicker due to increased bone loss caused by erratic blood sugar levels. And tooth loss is often prevalent in those with HIV/AIDS and Alzheimer’s disease.1

It does make you wonder why taking care of our mouth is so low on the totem pole of things to do. The bacteria in your mouth is usually harmless when brushed and flossed away. But, when inflamed gums begin to bleed, then passage into the blood stream is provided for more than 700 kinds of bacteria.2  Scary, right? Once the bacteria is in the blood stream there is potential that they can stick to the walls of your arteries which is why poor oral hygiene is linked most often with cardiovascular diseases. Aggressive antibiotic drug treatments can potentially reverse the effects that poor oral hygiene has on your health.

To protect yourself in between dental check-ups you should brush and floss twice a day, schedule regular dental check-ups, and replace your toothbrush every four months. Dr. Truong strongly suggests the use of an electric toothbrush. It is an investment that your teeth will thank you for later in life. The end result, however, will remain the same for those that choose to put the cleanliness of their mouth on the back burner. Regardless of how healthy you are, if you don’t take care of your teeth, you are at risk for some nasty diseases.

1. http://www.mayoclinic.com 2. http://www.healthnewsrack.com