- Bleeding gums aren’t a big deal:
One of the major warning signs of gum disease is bleeding gums. Think of gum tissue as the skin on your hand, if your hands bled every time you washed them you would know something was wrong. Red, swollen and bleeding gums are an important sign of gum disease. If you notice bleeding while brushing or flossing, or when eating certain foods, you should schedule a visit with your dentist.
- You don’t need to floss every day:
Routine oral care, which includes brushing after every meal and before bedtime, and flossing at least once a day, is the best way to prevent gum disease. However, a recent survey by the Oral Health Foundation shows that one in three people have NEVER flossed their teeth.
- You need to use a hard bristled toothbrush to make sure your teeth are clean:
Many people believe that a hard bristled tooth brush will clean their teeth more effectively than a soft toothbrush. In actual fact the plaque that we remove daily from our teeth is soft like cottage cheese and can be easily brushed away. Hard bristled tooth brushes can do more harm than good, with the harsh abrasiveness causing gum recession and enamel wear.
- People with Gum disease don’t brush their teeth:
A lack of good oral hygiene can certainly contribute to the progression of gum disease, but there are a variety of other factors that can also impact your risk.
For instance, tobacco use has been shown to greatly increase your chance of developing gum disease. Stress, poor diet, and even genetics, can also play a role in the health of your gums.
- Gum disease is easy to identify, even in its early stages, so my dentist would tell me if I had it:
Millions of people don’t know they have this serious infection that can lead to tooth loss if not treated. You should always get involved, so that any problems are detected in the early stages, advise your dentist of bleeding when you brush. Don’t be afraid to ask your dentist about your gum health and if there is anything you can do to improve your home care routine. Most of all keep your dentist up dated of any new medical conditions or changes in medication.
- Tooth loss is a natural part of ageing:
With good oral hygiene and regular dental care, your teeth are meant to last you a lifetime. Gum disease is caused by plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that constantly builds up, on and in between, your teeth. If left untreated, plaque will irritate the gums leading to redness and soreness, if allowed to continue, gum disease can cause the gum to come away from the tooth, creating ‘pockets’ around it where even more plaque can grow. Over time, these pockets deepen, gums continue to recede and teeth can become loose.
- Gum disease doesn’t affect overall health:
In recent years gum disease has been linked with general health conditions such as premature births, diabetes, strokes, cardiovascular disease and even dementia. More research is needed to understand how these links work but there is more and more evidence that having a healthy mouth and gums can help improve your general health.
- A visit to the hygienist will be scary:
Hygienists are gum disease experts. They undergo up to three years of specialist training centred on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of gum disease. Hygienists help to treat gum disease by removing the plaque and calculus from the tooth surface, they also help you to understand why it has occurred, and how you can manage the disease with your daily oral care routine.
Hygienist often use local anaesthetic when treating advanced gum disease to make the experience as comfortable as possible, and the treatments can often be broken down into several short appointments to make it more manageable for the patients.
- Gum Disease is a minor infection:
The mass of tissue in the mouth is the equivalent to the skin on your arm that extends from your wrist to your elbow, if this area of your arm was swollen and infected you would visit your doctor. Gum disease is not a small infection! It can result in tooth loss, which can in turn have a dramatic effect on your life, changes in your appearance, bad breath, and the ability to chew food.
Gum disease does not usually cause pain as it gets worse so you do not notice the damage it is doing. However, the bacteria are sometimes more active and this makes your gums sore. This can lead to gum abscesses, and pus may ooze from around the teeth. Over a number of years, the bone supporting the teeth can be lost. If the disease is left untreated for a long time, treatment can be more difficult.
- Its ok for Pregnant women to skip dental check-ups till after their pregnancy:
Women considering becoming pregnant, or women who are already pregnant, are strongly advised to have regular dental visits. In a recent study, women who delivered prematurely or had under weight babies were found to have significantly worse gum disease, than those whose babies born at term and at normal weight.
The infection in the mouth can interfere with the development of the unborn child and the bacteria can interfere with foetal growth by releasing toxins into the blood stream that reach the placenta. This can stimulate the women’s body to produce inflammatory chemicals causing the cervix to dilate and contractions to start.
Pregnancy gingivitis affects 60-70% of pregnant women. It is caused by elevated hormones of oestrogen and progesterone. Gums in pregnant women react differently to the bacteria found in dental plaque therefore pregnancy gingivitis will get worse without treatment.