Despite its prevalence, gum disease is one of the most misunderstood oral health problems among laypeople. It can look a lot of different ways depending on its severity, so it can be a little hard to understand it well. Even the name is sort of vague—”gum disease” doesn’t tell you much about what the actual problem is with your teeth.
That may be why there are so many myths surrounding oral infections. To help clear the air, here are some of the most common misunderstandings and why they aren’t necessarily true.
Gum Disease is Uncommon
Many people feel that gum disease isn’t something that they’ll have to worry about, but it’s actually one of the most common health conditions there is. According to the CDC, roughly 50% of adults in the United States have some form of gum disease.
You Can’t Have Gum Disease Without Cavities
Because gum disease itself isn’t visible, it can only be detected by its visible symptoms. One such indicator is tooth decay, so much so that some people think they don’t have gum disease because their teeth are in good shape. However, cavities aren’t the only sign that you might be dealing with an infection. Inflamed gums that bleed when brushing/flossing are also strong signs that you have some form of gum disease.
Gum Disease will Go Away on its Own
Often when people think that they might have gum disease, they ignore it in the hopes that it’ll go away on its own. Unfortunately, your teeth and gums don’t work like the rest of the body; they can’t fight off infection by themselves. Gum disease is degenerative, meaning it’ll only get worse if left untreated.
Gum Disease Means I’ll Definitely Lose Teeth
When some people hear “gum disease,” their minds might immediately go to the worst: they may assume that they’re going to need to have teeth pulled. While very severe gum disease could require extraction, most people who have it aren’t at that point. If you think you have gum disease, treatment from your dentist, along with a solid brushing and flossing routine, can eliminate any chance you have of needing to have a tooth removed.
Hopefully, this guide helped to clarify some misconceptions about this very common ailment. If you think you might be dealing with this issue, you might be able to better communicate to a professional what your problems are, which will help them develop a treatment plan for you.
About Our Practice
At Advanced Smile Design, we know that getting your family to the dentist can be a challenge, so we work hard to make it as easy as possible. Our incredible dental staff manages has a wide range of specialties, meaning that we can offer a variety of treatments under one roof. We also have convenient office hours, so you shouldn’t have to take off work for your kids to see the dentist. If you have any questions about gum disease, we can be reached at our website or by phone at (215) 659-3334.