The Truth About Gum Disease

The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) estimates that three out of four Americans have some sort of gum disease. Despite this high number, only three percent of those suffering from gum disease will seek treatment. Since studies have shown that gum disease is linked to potentially life-threatening diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, certain forms of cancer, maintaining healthy teeth and gums is essential.

I’m Dr. James Stewart, a dentist in Livonia, MI, and I want to address some common misconceptions about oral health.

Bleeding gums are normal: Red, swollen, and bleeding gums are signs of a problem and could indicate periodontal disease. You should not dismiss these warning signs. It is important to treat periodontal disease as soon as possible. If your lips were swollen, red, and bleeding, would you ignore them?

Flossing daily is unnecessary: A recent study shows that only 13.5 percent of Americans floss daily. Flossing should be part of your daily oral hygiene. It removes food particles and plaque lodged between teeth, and reduces the potential for bad breath, cavities, and gum disease.

Poor oral hygiene is the only cause of gum disease: Forgoing proper oral hygiene is a major factor in the development of gum disease. However, there are other factors that can increase your chances of developing gum disease: stress, poor eating habits, tobacco use, and genetics can contribute to the health of your teeth and gums.

If you notice blood on your toothbrush, call my Livonia dentist office at (734)425-4400 to schedule an appointment.  Proper oral health is the first step to maintaining overall health.