Dentistry isn’t unlike other forms of medicine in that are a number of ways to treat one issue. While we dentists and doctors appreciate feedback and numerous sources of information, some information out there — especially online — isn’t credible.
George A. Hoop, DDS, PA our Fort Myers FL dental office and Naples FL dental office can assist you in keeping your mouth healthy forever. We have a great dental hygiene team that can assist you in the office and help you build a great at-home hygiene routine. There are dozens of little things you can do to improve the help of your teeth, but here are some dental myths you need to avoid for the better.
You can call us right now at 239-734-7737 to schedule your first visit with us. Here are some dental myths dispelled so you can decipher fact from fiction.
1. Bleeding Gums Are No Big Deal. MYTH
Having bleeding or swollen gums is no small problem. Just because this is a relatively common problem doesn’t mean it’s not a serious problem. Bleeding or swollen gums are the first sign of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults, and we now know that periodontal disease is connected to serious problems health problems like diabetes and heart disease.
We can reverse gum disease in its early stages, but advanced gum disease is not curable. You’ll need treatment for the rest of your life. That’s why it’s important to catch this problem as early as possible.
2. Sleep Apnea Isn’t Dangerous. MYTH
Sleep apnea is one of the most misunderstood problems in dentistry. It’s often lumped into the category of harmless snoring, but the truth is that sleep apnea can be deadly. Sleep apnea occurs whenever you experience pauses in breathing. That alone can be damaging to your health, and it’s even possible to stop breathing entirely. People with severe sleep apnea can experience 30 or more pauses in breathing every hour.
There are two forms of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea, with obstructive sleep apnea being the most common. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs whenever soft tissue blocks the airway during sleep. Sleep apnea is often treated with a CPAP. People with sleep apnea often find this form of treatment unbearable, so they don’t treat the problem.
Leaving sleep apnea untreated can increase your risk of overall health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and even stroke. We know that many patients with sleep apnea cannot tolerate a CPAP machine, and that’s why we’re offering a special sleep apnea oral appliance. The custom appliance positions the lower jaw forward to help patients struggling with obstructive sleep apnea. The appliance is custom, and unlike a CPAP, it’s easy to travel with.
3. You Don’t Need to Floss. MYTH
Last year, the medical benefits of floss was called into question, but the news reports mostly scrutinized the studies relating to floss not the act of flossing. We dentists still maintain that floss is one of your best defenses against periodontal disease.
And if you’re still not convinced, consider this fact: Only about 65 percent of the tooth is above the gum line. Brushing will clean the surface of the tooth, but flossing can clean the area beneath the gum line. So, when you neglect floss, you’re neglecting about 35 percent of the tooth and possibly putting yourself at a higher risk of gum disease.
4. A Root Canal is Dangerous. MYTH
Having a root canal is easily the most feared procedure in dentistry, but we believe it’s just misunderstood. A root canal is needed whenever decay has reached the nerve or whenever an abscess has formed at the root of the tooth. We call this a root canal, but it’s really “root canal therapy,” as we clean out the roots to make the tooth healthy again. Once the root canals are cleared, we’ll fill the canals and then generally restore the tooth with a crown.
Root canal therapy saves the tooth from extraction. There are some who claim root canal therapy is dangerous, but that is an unfounded medical theory. This theory developed more than 100 years ago, and the dentists who started this myth was an advocate for extractions. Despite the rumors and myths, root canal therapy isn’t painful and it’s successful more than 98 percent of the time. In many cases, root canal therapy can keep the tooth healthy for the rest of your life.
5. A Denture Works Like Your Natural Teeth. MYTH
Removable dentures are the oldest type of replacement tooth option. While dentures have evolved over the years to be more lifelike than ever, removable dentures can still not match the function of natural teeth. Plus, dentures can change shape over time because of changes in the jawbone after the tooth are lost. People with removable dentures often complain about a bad denture fit or not being able to eat the food they love. And denture patients even have to worry about their teeth coming loose while they speak.
In our office, we’re offering dental implants to replace missing teeth or to stabilize dentures. Our dental implants nearly match the function of your natural teeth. With dental implants, you can eat whatever you want again, and you’ll never have to worry about your teeth falling out while you eat, laugh, or smile.
Don’t Fall For Bad Dental Advice!
We only get one set of permanent teeth, so it’s important to keep our teeth healthy and strong. Following bad dental myths or avoiding your dental visits will only cause more frustration and heartache down the road. For great preventive and restorative dental care, give us a call today at 239-734-7737.