Periodontitis is a serious gum disease that can eat away at your gums and bone tissue. If it is not treated, this disease can lead to tooth loss, heart attack, or stroke. You need to know the facts about periodontitis so you can make an informed decision about your dental health. Here are four myths about periodontitis:
1. Periodontitis Only Happens to People with Poor Oral Hygiene
This disease can occur even in those who brush twice a day and floss regularly. Tobacco use, diabetes, and even pregnancy can increase the risk of developing this type of gum disease. About 30% of the adult population has genetic factors that make them more likely to develop periodontitis.
2. As Long as You Get Regular Dental Cleanings, Periodontitis Will Go Away
It's true that regular dental cleanings along with improved oral hygiene can treat periodontitis. But not all dental cleanings are equal. If you have periodontitis, you need to have your teeth cleaned by a periodontist. A periodontist like the ones at Periodontal Specialists will measure your gum pockets, and can determine whether or not you need surgical intervention. They will also clean your teeth using a method called root scaling and planing. This technique cleans your teeth and gums to the roots. They'll also apply antibiotics between your teeth during the procedure.
3. Periodontitis Is Easy to Spot, so You Have Nothing to Worry About
The signs of gum disease are hard to look for, especially in the early stages. Don't think that you will be able to recognize the signs. Even your dentist may have trouble catching the early warning signs of periodontitis. Here are symptoms to look out for:
- bad breath
- red gums
- bleeding gums
- shiny gums
- longer looking teeth
- tooth sensitivity
4. Periodontitis Is Inevitable When You Get Older
This is a common myth, especially because the older you get, the more likely you are to lose your teeth. This is because certain medications can dry the mouth, which can increase the likelihood of developing gum disease. Elderly people are also more at risk of gum disease due to bone loss and mobility issues. Yet, only about 17% of the population aged 65 or older have periodontal disease, compared with 47% of the general population. With good oral hygiene, treatment of dry mouth, and an increase in bone density, your teeth can last a lifetime.
These are four myths about periodontitis that are debunked. You should discuss your oral health with your dentist or periodontist.