There is a host of information available at your fingertips. Today in the digital age you can learn just about anything with a few clicks of the button. When you have a question or need to know more about a topic, you probably turn to Google. I don’t blame you! I do the very same thing. But what concerns me is that people are Googling and following bad dental advice. As a dentist, I work to educate my patients about the very best ways to achieve a better smile.
So today and later this week, I want to debunk some of the biggest dental myths that may be ruining your smile. Is teeth whitening harmful to your teeth? Do root canals damage your health? Do you have to be in pain to have dental problem? I’ll have answers to all of these questions and more. If these dental tips are helpful for you, share them with your friends and family.
1. I’ll know when I have a cavity. MYTH. There is a misconception that if you don’t have pain, you probably don’t have cavities. Not true. Pain can accompany a cavity, but it’s possible that you’ll have a cavity with no pain at all. The bigger the cavity, the more likely it is that you’ll have pain. In fact, if you do have a toothache, it’s possible that the decay has reached the nerve, which increases your chances of needing a root canal. By maintaining your regular dental visits, we can identify small cavities before they balloon into painful issues.
2. Root canals are dangerous to your overall health. MYTH. Almost 100 years, a dentist theorized that root canals posed a threat to your overall health. Because the root is filled during a root canal, this particular dentist believed that the filling material would can go to cause problems through the rest of the body. It’s not such that this myth started 100 years, but it’s also been disproven time and time again. The truth about root canals is that the procedure saves the tooth and prevents the infection from spreading throughout the mouth.
3. Bleeding or swollen gums are part of life. MYTH. Bleeding or swollen gums are the first signs of gum disease. The earliest stage of gum disease, gingivitis, is reversible, but unfortunately, all other stages of gum disease are not curable. Gum disease is serious. It’s been linked to deadly overall health issues, and it’s the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. Gum disease will need constant care, as the bacteria that causes gum disease can develop and multiply quickly. We recommend that you visit the dentist once every three to four months to ensure that your gum infection does not reach the bone and cause teeth to fail.
4. I don’t snore, so I don’t have sleep apnea. MYTH. Snoring is one of the biggest signs of sleep apnea, but it’s not the only sign. There is also no guarantee that you have sleep apnea just because you snore. Sleep apnea occurs when you experience pauses in breathing while you’re asleep. The most common form is obstructive sleep apnea. Many patients with sleep apnea experience daytime fatigue, morning headaches, and concentration issues. Our office can craft a comfortable oral appliance that you’ll wear at night to resolve your snoring and sleep apnea issues.
5. Baby teeth aren’t important. MYTH. I understand how this myth began. Baby teeth are temporary, right, so why should they matter? For one, it’s never good to have dental decay or infection, regardless of what age you are. Dental decay is the number one chronic disease in children. Dental decay can cause serious pain or potentially disrupt the development of the child’s permanent teeth. We can provide cleanings and exams for your children’s baby teeth to reduce the risk of cavities.
These are just five dental myths that you should avoid. Later in the week I’ll have another five dental myths for you to avoid. If you’re ready to start your dental care with our office, call us today at (407) 603-3839.