Gum disease is inflammation of the gums that occurs because of an increased number of bacteria in the oral cavity. This condition affects many people all over the world, with approximately 50% of adults experiencing gingivitis during their life. However, there seem to be many misconceptions about gum disease. To help you stay on the safe side, we have gathered these six debunked myths about gum disease that you shouldn't believe in.
1. Gum disease is uncommon
Many people think that gum disease affects only smokers or old people. But as mentioned above, up to 50 percent of adults can develop gum disease throughout their lives. Tsi means that every second person has an increased likelihood of gum disease. You should also know that this condition can affect children as well. This is because kids usually neglect proper oral hygiene and this can result in bacteria overgrowth.
2. Gum bleeding is normal
One of the most common misconceptions about the gums is that gum bleeding that occurs during tooth brushing or on its own is normal and doesn’t indicate any issues. But the reality is that gum bleeding is considered one of the most common signs of gingivitis (the initial stage of gum disease). You should know that timely and correct gingivitis treatment can help cope with gum disease and prevent the development of severe complications.
3. Gum disease always causes severe symptoms
Even though inflamed gums are usually bleeding, red, and swollen, initial gum disease can develop asymptomatically for some time. In this case, only a dentist can notice signs of early gum disease. Additionally, some people may have asymptomatic apical periodontitis (AAP). This condition is a bacterial infection of the root canal system that causes persistent inflammation and destruction of the apical periodontium.
4. Gum disease can be left untreated
Some people believe that gum disease is a minor infection and it can be left untreated without any consequences. But the truth is that untreated gum disease can’t disappear on its own but it can cause tooth loss. This is because the infection destroys gums that hold your teeth in place. If you develop advanced gum disease, your teeth may lose their support and fall out. Additionally, you may develop bone loss that can complicate the installation of dental implants.
5. Gum disease affects only teeth and gums
Indeed, gum disease usually causes obvious signs in the oral cavity. But it doesn’t mean that this condition doesn't affect your overall health. The point is that gum disease promotes the spread of bacteria throughout your body. That’s why people with gum disease are more likely to develop respiratory infections, stroke, heart disease, and Alzheimer's disease. Additionally, gum disease increases your risk of diabetes and diabetes also promotes the development of gum disease.
6. Gum disease always leads to tooth loss
If you have been diagnosed with gum disease, it doesn't always mean that you will lose your teeth soon. As mentioned above, only severe gum disease that wasn’t treated in time can lead to tooth loss. So if you have noticed early signs of gingivitis (gum redness, swelling, bleeding, bad breath, and receding gums), it is better to contact a periodontist as soon as possible. A doctor can recommend the most effective treatment plan to save your teeth and gums.
The bottom line
It is essential to understand that gum disease is a quite serious infection that affects many people. Timely and proper treatment can help ease its symptoms and prevent the development of severe complications. If you already have gum disease, you should contact a periodontist to define the best treatment options.