So you haven’t been to the dentist in a few years. When you get there, the dentist says you have gum disease! You might have expected cavities and some fillings, but maybe you weren’t prepared to hear this news. What does this mean for you?
At Overmeyer Family Dental, Dr. Thomas Overmeyer and Dr. Jessica Overmeyer are your gum disease experts in Orlando! We’d like to look at some truths and myths about gum disease so that you’re prepared for the treatment – or better yet, so you don’t need it at all!
Let’s get started dispelling some myths!
Gum disease hurts, so I’d know if I had it.
This is a myth! A mild form of gum disease, known as gingivitis, is simply inflammation of your gum tissue. This can occur gradually, so you may never even notice it. Along with this can come bleeding gums, which you might see as you brush and floss. You might also experience chronic bad breath (check out our recent blog article about this here!). Don’t shrug it off as normal – come see us for an appointment so we can check it out.
Gum disease is destructive.
This is not a myth! Although gingivitis may not develop into full-blown destructive gum disease (called periodontitis), it’s very possible because the symptoms are either not noticeable or are easily dismissed. Advanced gum disease can destroy your gums, teeth, and jawbone. And most of the time, people don’t realize this has happened until it’s far progressed. That’s why regular checkups are so important. Our hygienists and dentists look for signs of gum disease during your exam, so they can catch it early – even with a simple professional cleaning.
Gum disease happens only to people who don’t take care of their teeth.
A myth! About half of all people will have gum disease at some point, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This study didn’t include gingivitis, which can raise those numbers. All of these people aren’t unhealthy when it comes to their oral hygiene, although that’s the major contributing factor. Some people are more susceptible to gum disease because of other medical conditions, or even genetics! The study also found that men are more likely to suffer from it, and also Mexican-Americans.
Gum disease only affects my mouth, so it’s not that a big deal.
This is a tricky one to answer. Aggressive periodontitis can result in tooth loss, bone loss, and gum tissue loss. But numerous respected studies show that it also is linked to many other diseases and conditions throughout the body. Although the cause isn’t clear, the numbers are significant enough for us dentists to want to keep this disease at bay – and not just because it affects your smile!
Some of the conditions that researchers and health professionals have seen connections with include:
Some bacterial issues in your body originate from oral bacteria, and the inflammation and infection that comes with gum disease may also affect other inflammatory conditions.
Gum disease treatment will be painful.
This isn’t a myth at a lot of dentists’ offices, but it is here! We can use our painless LANAP procedure to eradicate your gum disease for good! With use of special lasers, we’re able to get rid of the plaque and bacteria buildup that’s in your gums. This means you won’t need traditional surgery with scalpels and sutures. You can read more about our gum disease treatment here.
No matter what your gums look like, don’t be ashamed! We aren’t here to judge you for the condition of your mouth. We’re here to help get rid of the problem and get you to feeling better and smiling proudly!
If you suspect you have gum disease, Contact us now! We also encourage you to make an appointment if you haven’t been to the dentist in a while so that we can help you prevent gum disease. Our aim is to keep your mouth healthy!