Using sound logic and expert advice, this four-part article series dispels some of the most common myths surrounding oral health and dental treatment.
In an effort to purge the dangerous dental myths from the minds of our patients, this four-part article series presents to you what an experienced family dentist has to say about the following very common misconceptions. And if there’s one medical professional that’s extremely qualified to talk about the damage that can be potentially done to your teeth through ignorance, it’s a surgeon who routinely repairs this damage!
Let’s get started…
Myth # 1: Your oral health has little to do with your general health.
Actually, your oral health and general health share a very direct and intimate connection. Not only does your body receive its nutrition through the oral cavity, but it’s also the primary airway. People who do not brush and floss regularly will have a lot more oral bacteria in their mouths, which are easily introduced into the rest of the body via swallowing and breathing. So, the unhealthier your mouth is, the greater the risk to your general health.
This especially becomes a problem if you develop gum disease, which is an aggressive bacterial infection of the gums. It is an accepted fact amongst the medical community that gum disease shares a link with potentially fatal illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and liver and kidney disease. Further links between gum disease and osteoporosis, Rheumatoid arthritis and pregnancy complications are supported by research.
It’s important for dental patients to understand that poor oral hygiene leads to gum disease, which is a systemic and inflammatory disease, meaning that it affects all of your body’s major systems and organs. Therefore, to ignore the health of your teeth and gums may come at the cost of your life, and this is no inflammatory statement… if you’ll excuse the pun.
Myth # 2: If it doesn’t hurt, I can live with it.
There are many oral ailments – and potentially fatal ones too – that do not necessarily cause pain. Dental Patients frequently wait until the their problems start causing them discomfort before they seek treatment, which is a very erroneous philosophy to have. For example, you can quite happily live with gum disease for many years before it starts causing symptoms that simply cannot be ignored, by which time the damage may be irreversible.
Another example: A cavity can go undetected until it becomes so big that the pulp chamber is exposed and infected with bacteria. Only once this has happened – only once it is too late for a straightforward filling – will you likely experience the pain associated with endodontic infection. And then, of course, the treatment solution will probably be root canal therapy and a dental crown, which is far more extensive and expensive than a simple filling. Then there is oral cancer, which can appear as painless sores.
The take-home message here is that ignoring an oral problem, or not going for routine dental examinations (whether you feel something is wrong or not) may end up costing you substantially more money to get fixed, if it can be fixed at all,” says a Colorado Springs family dentist. “By neglecting to receive regular professional attention, you risk permanent damage to your teeth and possibly even tooth loss, not to mention the having to pay the associated bills. Prevention is always better than cure!
Stay Tuned for Part 2
To read about more major myths that could potentially be disastrous for your oral health, stay tuned for the second installment of this four-part article series.