Dental Myths that Could Be Damaging Your Teeth

Dental Myths that Could Be Damaging Your Teeth

Charlottesville dentistMany people engage in seemingly benign habits that are actually harmful to teeth and gums. Others neglect their oral health simply because they do not know how destructive oral conditions can be. For example, your dentist has probably warned you about gum disease and the importance of flossing.  Nevertheless, what you may not realize is that advanced gum disease is incredibly destructive; in fact, it’s the leading cause of tooth loss. Other habits like clenching or grinding one’s teeth also harm oral health by affecting one’s occlusion and jaw health. Following are some common dental myths dispelled by our team.

Myth: Gum Disease is not a Big Deal

The false idea that gum disease is just a minor oral health problem is not uncommon among many people. Unfortunately, the harsh reality is the opposite: gum (periodontal) disease is a big deal and it has far-reaching effects on overall health when left untreated. Advanced periodontal disease causes tooth loss by destroying the support structures of teeth (gums and bone) and in its most aggressive stages, causes a systemic infection. Patients with serious gum disease may require oral surgeries such as hard and soft tissue grafts along with deep prophylaxis to clean and remove diseased tissue.

Myth: Misaligned Bites are Just a Cosmetic Problem

Some people believe that underbites, overbites, and worn down teeth are simply cosmetic issues. While misaligned occlusions are sometimes noticeable to others, they can negatively affect oral health – especially the health of the joints that connect the lower mandible to the cranium. A malocclusion (an improper bite) can be caused by genetic and developmental issues or habits like bruxism (clenching and grinding teeth) that wear teeth down and ultimately affect the way the upper and lower teeth line up while the mouth is closed. A misaligned bite strains the TMJ (temporomandibular joint) and can lead to TMJ disorder, a very painful and damaging condition. In severe cases, patients may require reconstructive or corrective surgeries to improve jaw and joint health along with their occlusion.

Our oral surgeon offers many services including dental implant placement, tooth extractions, and corrective surgeries. Contact our office today for additional information or to reserve an appointment.