Gum Disease Myths Dispelled

Gum disease is common. Recent findings show up to 80% of the population in the United States has gum disease. Despite the fact that gum disease is very common, many patients lack awareness and information on the disease. Early stages of gum disease (gingivitis) are reversible with regular dental cleanings and thorough oral hygiene. If gum disease advances or goes undetected, it poses serious health risks for our patients.

Myth #1: Gum disease is not a serious medical condition

Many people view gum disease as a minor oral health problem. Despite this common misconception, gum disease is actually a very serious threat to your oral and overall health. Advanced periodontal disease is destructive; it has the potential to erode your jawbone and may affect your entire body if the infection enters your bloodstream. Recent research shows that gum disease is connected to other chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.

Myth # 2: Gum disease is curable with antibiotics

When gum disease progresses, it is not curable. Many dentists and periodontists use antibiotics to treat the infection of gum tissue but these medications do not completely cure gum disease. Eventually, your body will build a resistance to antibiotics making the medication less effective.

Myth # 3: Poor oral hygiene is the only cause of gum disease

Poor oral hygiene is a common contributor to gum disease but it is not the only cause. Hormonal fluctuations, genetic predispositions, and some medications may also cause periodontal disease. For example, some pregnant women develop gum disease because of hormonal changes.

As a general and cosmetic dentist, Dr. James Fondriest screens patients for gum disease at annual checkups. In addition, our dental hygienists at our Chicago area office also look for signs of periodontal disease when they conduct professional cleanings.  To schedule an appointment, contact our Chicago dentist office at (847) 234-0517. We serve patients from the North Shore and the Chicago metropolitan area.