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Few dental health problems are as misunderstood as periodontal disease. People tend to wildly underestimate how damaging it can be to their health or they fail to understand what causes it and how vulnerable they are to getting it. Gum disease can seriously compromise your health and ruin the integrity of your gums and teeth.

At Dental Specialty Associates, we’ve seen what can happen when people don’t take gum disease seriously. It’s essential that you keep your teeth and gums clean before gum disease can set in. The effects it can have on you are long-lasting and very costly to repair. Here are five of the most common misconceptions about periodontal disease. Get informed about this crucial topic and if you’ve noticed any of these warning signs about your teeth and gums, call us to schedule an appointment as soon as you can.

Gum disease is inevitable

It’s a common misconception that gum disease is a natural part of aging. As your body ages, the reasoning goes, your gums start to weaken and become more prone to infection and disease. This is not true: Gum disease is absolutely NOT an inevitability. Gum disease is caused by a build up of dental plaque, which can happen just as easily to children and adolescents as it can to the elderly.

Seniors with receding gums and poor dental hygiene habits can end up with a faster build up of plaque, which would encourage the development of gum disease. Smoking, dry mouth and taking certain medications can also increase the risk of periodontal disease in seniors. It’s because of these additional factors and circumstances that makes it SEEM like the elderly inevitably get gum disease.

It’s not that serious

Periodontal disease doesn’t act fast. It can develop slowly over time, not revealing its symptoms until it gets serious. Which it will: Gum disease doesn’t just go away if you ignore it. At first it’s just a little redness of the gums, a little bit of bleeding when you brush your teeth: Over time it’ll develop into pockets around the base of your teeth, which can eventually make them loose and cause them to fall out. This can be dealt with by getting regular dental cleanings.

I don’t need to worry if my gums bleed when I brush my teeth

Wrong. The fact of the matter is that your gums should NOT bleed when you brush or floss. This is not natural and should be cause for concern. It’s hard to pick up on the symptoms of periodontal disease, but if you see blood on your brush that is a big red flag.

Bleeding gums aren’t the only sign that you should go see a dentist as soon as possible to get your teeth clean. Other potential signs of periodontal disease include:

  • Red, tender or swollen gums
  • Mouth sores
  • Gums that are pulling away from your teeth
  • Halitosis
  • Pus between your gums and teeth
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite
  • Changes in the fit of your partial dentures

It’s only caused by poor dental hygiene

Poor dental hygiene can certainly help cause periodontal disease, but it isn’t the only culprit when it comes to committing the crime of gum disease. Even if you have outstanding dental hygiene habits, there are other factors that can cause periodontal disease. These include genetics, certain kinds of medications, stress, smoking and medical conditions like diabetes.

It can be painful to treat

Despite what many people think, treating gum disease isn’t very painful. There are options for treating disease that are less invasive than ever before. One of the most popular and effective procedures used to treat periodontal disease is the LANAP, an FDA-cleared laser protocol that treats gum disease effectively and safely by using light energy to destroy the bacteria that causes gum disease without damaging any of your healthy tissue.

If you’d like to know more about how we can treat periodontal disease or to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists, call Dental Specialty Associates at (602)-795-5995.