August 12, 2016
The age of the Internet puts us all in a unique position to learn about everything — from home improvement to dentistry. I certainly am guilty of having Googled things I wouldn’t have known the first thing about 20 years ago. But, as good as this digital age is, there is one thing that worries me: the proliferation of bad information. That’s right, don’t believe everything you read on the Internet, folks, especially when it comes to medical care. My concern is that you’re following bad dental advice and putting your health at risk. Everyone’s mouth is different, and the best way to get information about your oral health is to ask your dentist.
Today I have a list of dental myths I want to debunk. Read the information carefully to see if any of these apply to you.
Bleeding or swollen gums are no big deal. MYTH. This is very likely one of the worst dental myths out there. Bleeding or swollen gums are the first signs of gum disease, a serious oral health condition that is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. If you have bleeding or swollen gums, it’s likely an infection is present in the gums. If left untreated, the infection will cause the teeth and gums to separate or the tooth to become loose in the socket. This is a road you don’t want to do down. If you have bleeding or swollen gums, you need to see a dentist as soon as possible.
Whitening teeth will damage your enamel. MYTH. We dentists have used teeth-whitening procedures for decades. These whitening treatments can brighten your natural teeth by several shades. Researchers have found no link between professional teeth-whitening treatment and enamel damage. At our office, we use at-home whitening treatment. You’ll wear the whitening treatments every day until your teeth are brightened to your liking. To be a candidate for teeth whitening, you must be in good oral health — free of gum disease and tooth decay.
Tooth decay is present only when your teeth hurt. MYTH. Your teeth shouldn’t hurt. Not for any reason. Cavities, especially those close to your nerve, can cause dental pain, but it’s just as likely you’ll feel nothing at all. Whatever the case, it’s never a good idea to wait until you are in pain to restore your tooth. When tooth decay reaches the root, it’s possible you’ll need a root canal to restore the tooth. The best way to ensure you are cavity free is to visit your two twice a year for cleanings and exams.
A sugar-free diet will guarantee a cavity-free visit. MYTH. Sugar is one of the big causes of tooth decay in adults. It’s true that sugar intake can increase your risk of cavities, but sugar is not the only cause of tooth decay. Foods high in carbohydrates or high in acidity are just as likely to cause cavities, as these foods can cause plaque and bacteria. When food debris stays in your mouth, it can develop into acid that creates cavities.
Large cavities will grow up to be dental crowns. MYTH. It’s possible for large cavities to need a dental crown, but it’s not a certainty. Once we stop dental decay, we may never need another restoration. We use special composite tooth-colored fillings that bond to the teeth. Old fillings like silver fillings are not bonded to the tooth, which makes it possible for decay to make its way between the filling and the tooth. Our composite bonds are bonded to the tooth, so we can decrease the risk of future tooth decay. You can decrease your risk of needing extensive dental work by erasing dental problems when they arise.
I hope you learned a little from this list. There are many more dental myths out there. Our office is here to help you achieve a better smile. Call the office today at 828-355-5673.