Seven Myths Debunked About Dental Health
Many people have misconceptions about their mouth and dental treatment. Some of these date back many years and haven’t changed much since, although the dental profession has changed significantly over that same time.
Our doctor and the team of Harrisburg Dental want to make sure you know the facts!
Read about what are some common myths and see which one’s you might have believed to be true. As always, each patient is different so please consult your dentist with any questions or concerns you may have. Our doctor and his staff are always here to help answer any and all questions or concerns you may have!
MYTH 1: NO PAIN, NO PROBLEM
Don’t let this fool you. Just because you don’t feel any pain in your mouth, that doesn’t mean there are no issues that need to be addressed. If a tooth becomes infected, it may initially present some pain but spontaneously resolve when the nerve of the tooth dies. This does not mean that the infection is gone. Quite the contrary; it just allows the infection to spread if the issue is not addressed and potentially cause bigger problems. A toothache is always a good reason for a checkup, even if the pain goes away.
MYTH 2: WHITER TEETH ARE HEALTHIER TEETH
This may be true in some situations, but most certainly NOT all the time. Teeth darken and become more yellow naturally as we age. Certain food items such as coffee and tea and even some medications, will stain your teeth. But this is not an indication of tooth health. The truth is that tooth color is not a sign of tooth health, but rather a consequence of diet, aging, ability to remove stain, and other biochemical interactions . But if you wish your teeth were brighter, we can help with that!
MYTH 3: ROOT CANALS ARE PAINFUL
Many people are afraid of receiving root canal therapy because they’ve heard that the procedure is painful. Many years ago this may have indeed been the case, however, with today’s anesthetics, root canal procedures are no more uncomfortable than getting a filling. Root canals are a great tool help patients retain their teeth and should not be refused due to a fear of pain. Your dentist will ensure that you are comfortable for any and every procedure.
MYTH 4: IF I LEAVE MY BLEEDING GUMS ALONE THEY WILL STOP BLEEDING
At times when people see bleeding gums from brushing or flossing, they choose to avoid that area in hopes it will resolve. The truth is that bleeding from the gums comes from inflammation of the tissue caused the the presence of bacteria. It is your body’s natural immune response to an infection. This is the first sign of active gum disease. The only way to decrease the inflammation is to get rid of this bacteria by brushing and flossing the area thoroughly or a visit with a hygienist who can professionally clean your teeth. After the plaque is removed, proper brushing and flossing habits at home are essential to prevent future inflammation and bleeding.
MYTH 5: IF I ONLY FLOSS BEFORE MY APPOINTMENT, THEY WON’T KNOW I DON’T AT HOME
This one partly goes back to #4. If you don’t floss regularly your gums will bleed. Doing it once before your appointment will have little effect. You can’t pull a fast one on your dental team!
MYTH 6: BABY TEETH DON’T NEED TO BE BRUSHED OR SEEN BY A DENTIST
Just because baby teeth eventually fall out, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be cleaned and examined. Dental caries (aka cavities) is the most prominent infectious disease of childhood! Not only can this be painful to a child who may or may not be able to verbalize their pain, but it may also lead to more serious infections and can even damage the un-erupted permanent teeth below the baby teeth! Not all dentists treat children, so ask your dental provider if they can see your child. If they do not, they can refer you to a pediatric dentist who specializes in the dental care of children. Not only can dentists who work with children treat cavities, but they can also offer education on the prevention of cavities and help fearful children develop a positive relationship with the dental team for future visits!
MYTH 7: PROBLEMS THAT HAPPEN IN THE MOUTH, STAY IN THE MOUTH
Perhaps the most important myth to debunk is this one; people forget that the mouth is attached to the rest of the body. Problems that have origins in oral health quickly affect the rest of the body as well. Research now shows us that poor oral health may lead to strokes and heart disease! There is even ongoing research about a correlation between periodontal disease in pregnant women and giving birth to low birth weight babies.
Alternatively, good oral health has positive impacts on the body. For Type II diabetics, treatment of periodontal disease has shown an improvement of glycemic control. Who knew the mouth could have such a huge impact on the body…? Your dentist, that’s who!
Hopefully we were able to debunk some myths you have heard and enlighten you with facts! It’s always important to take care of yourself and your teeth. Be sure to always ask your dentist any questions or concerns you may have, no matter how small you may think it is.