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5 Dental Myths You Need to Avoid

  • August 15, 2016

Having been a dentist in Burke, Virginia, for many years, I can tell you that there are many preconceived notions about dental procedures or conditions. People believe a root canal will be one of the most painful experiences of their life. People believe that baby teeth are not important. People believe that oral health is not linked to your overall health. The list goes on and on.

Of course, baby teeth are important, root canal procedures are often no more uncomfortable than cleaning a cavity, and a healthier mouth often means a healthier life. Today I want to shatter a few more dental myths. I’ll give you the facts about some of the most dangerous dental myths.

1. There is nothing dangerous about loud snoring. MYTH. Loud snoring is a common sign of sleep apnea, though not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. This is a dangerous myth because sleep apnea is a condition that causes pauses in breathing at night. This is typically caused from an obstructed airway. People with sleep apnea are at a higher risk of hypertension, stroke, and high blood pressure. Additionally, people with sleep apnea often experience headaches and constant fatigue, even if they have had 8 or 10 hours of sleep. There are reports where people with sleep apnea have fallen asleep at work or while driving! So, there is nothing funny or innocent about sleep apnea. It can be life-threatening. Our office works with patients to identify and resolve sleep issues. We can craft a comfortable mouthguard that positions the lower jaw forward and keeps the airways unobstructed.

2. Bleeding gums are not a cause for concern. MYTH. Bleeding or swollen gums are the first sign of an infection in the gums. Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease is a dentist’s worst nightmare. It’s the leading cause of tooth loss in adults and has been linked to serious illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. About 75 percent of Americans will struggle with gum disease in their lives. That’s a huge number of people, but the good news is that the disease is treatment, even curable if caught in the early stages.

3. Gum disease treatment is painful and rarely works. MYTH. This is a myth that may have been true several years ago, but the times have changed for the better. Conventional gum surgery involves cutting and stitching the gums. That’s incredibly invasive and requires a lengthy recovery period. Today we use soft-tissue lasers to evaporate the infection from the gums. The best part is that the laser allows the gums and teeth to naturally re-attach — so there’s no need to stitch the gums. Using lasers, we can cut down the recovery period and reduce the rate of infection.

4. Dentures are just as good as dental implants when it comes to replacing teeth. MYTH. This one really bothers me. While dentures are less expensive and can aesthetically restore your mouth, they do not come close to matching the power of dental implants — or real teeth. Dental implants nearly match the power of your natural teeth, while dentures have just about 35 percent of the biting power of natural teeth. This means that you cannot eat the food you want when you have dentures. This reduction in your diet can reduce your overall health. Some studies have found that people with removable dentures are expected to live about 10 years less than people with teeth. Dental implants merge with your jawbone and can be restored with crowns, bridges, or even dentures.

5. Teeth whitening is dangerous to you teeth. MYTH. This one is tricky. It’s possible to overuse whitening treatments and damage your teeth, but generally, whitening is not harmful to your health. The key is to visit a qualified dentist for your whitening needs. There are tons of whitening products on the market. If you’re interested in whitening treatments, ask your dentist first. We ask that you’re free of tooth decay and gum disease to be a candidate for our whitening treatments.

These are five dental myths you need to avoid in order to achieve a healthy, beautiful mouth. If you’d like to hear how we can restore your mouth, call our office today 703-260-1677.