Did you know that a dental practitioner in the Middle Ages would recommend kissing a donkey to relieve a toothache? While this sounds ridiculous nowadays, there are still plenty of dental myths that circulate around. In fact, we’ve heard a number of dental myths from our patients here in North Arlington. To shed light on these common misconceptions, Dr. Richard Ekstein debunks the most common dental myths:
Kissing Can Pass Along Gum Disease
This is more theoretical than fact: gum disease is the result of bacterial infection under the gums, and some bacteria may transfer during kissing. But this transfer of bacteria does not guarantee that the recipient will get gum disease. So long as both maintain good oral care and habits, such as daily brushing and flossing, and have strong immune systems, there’s very little risk in kissing your loved one if they have gum disease.
Sugar Is The Singular Culprit Of Cavities
This is only partially true: sugar and carbohydrates feed the cavity-causing bacteria, but the bacteria is what is responsible for the plaque buildup and cavities. As the bacteria consumes the sugar contents, they dispel waste in the form of acids that slowly eat away at the enamel. Sugar is only part of the equation, but the main cause of cavities are the bacteria themselves.
Teeth Whitening = Healthier Smile
Not necessarily; teeth whitening is more for cosmetic reasons, and can cover up stains from food and drinks, along with symptoms of dental damage like discoloration from decay. However, teeth whitening does nothing to get rid of these diseases itself. If you have discoloration due to tooth decay, whitening can temporarily cover up the symptoms, but you should seek out treatments for the disease itself.
Poor Brushing Habits Lead To Bad Breath
Bad breath could mean a number of things, other than improper brushing. Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can occur from bacteria in the mouth or on the tongue. It can also occur as a result of chemical changes in your body or as a reaction to a new medicine. If you have chronic bad breath and want to find out what the cause is, contact Dr. Ekstein to look further into the possible causes of your bad breath.
Stop Brushing If Your Gums Bleed
On the contrary, it’s important to continue cleaning your gums and teeth, even if they are bleeding. However, if your gums are bleeding profusely, it’s vital that you make an appointment with us, so that we can take a closer look at the root cause of your bleeding gums. Most often the cause is gum disease, but profusely bleeding gums could also be a warning sign of more dangerous oral health diseases.
Have Additional Questions? Contact Smile Design Specialist
Do you have more questions about dental myths or your own dental health? Don’t wait to address any of your questions or concerns. We offer a variety of services ranging from family dentistry to restorative treatment! Contact Smile Design Specialist today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Ekstein.