Brushing, flossing and dental check-ups are standard for optimal oral care, but did you know that taking care of your teeth offers health benefits that extend beyond the mouth? Here in Ontario, we often hear some pretty funny dental care myths that our patients hear in their daily lives. Today, the Malden Dental team is here to set the record straight about some of the most common dental myths that patients believe.
Actually, poor dental health wreaks a number of consequences throughout the whole body. Among children, tooth decay is the most common childhood disease, about five times more prevalent than asthma. And if a child’s mouth is in constant pain, they are more likely to have trouble focusing on their schoolwork or after school activities. This can lead to stress and behavioral problems.
Adults that experience dental health problems can feel the effects throughout their body as well. Periodontal disease is linked with heart disease, stroke and a number of other adverse health conditions. Additionally, adults with tooth loss may experience problems while chewing and swallowing, leading to poor nutrition.
Pregnant women should pay extra attention to their health because poor nutrition can increase the likelihood of dental health issues in their baby later in life. Deficiencies in calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A and protein could lead to oral defects in fetuses. To prevent this, expectant mothers should take extra care to ensure that they are in good oral health and are providing their baby with adequate nutrients.
Our patients are often surprised to learn that sugar isn’t the real culprit behind cavities. Rather, the bacteria that lives in everyone’s mouths feeds on the sugars left behind by your morning donut or after dinner cookie. The bacteria then digests the sugar and produces acid waste—plaque.
Plaque is the real offender against your teeth. The acidic makeup of plaque and calculus attack the enamel and can cause cavities, weakening the entire structure of the tooth.
While sugar is not the direct cause of cavities, limiting your consumption of sugary foods can help prevent cavity-causing plaque from forming on your teeth.
Many parents believe that they do not need to worry if their child loses a baby tooth to decay because they know that the permanent tooth is still coming in. This is a big mistake. When a baby tooth develops cavities or decay, the crowns of the erupting permanent teeth can be damaged as well. And if the baby teeth fall out prematurely, the permanent teeth may emerge malpositioned and require corrective orthodontics later on.
Osteoporosis is a disease that affects bone density. In general, patients associate osteoporosis with hip and spine pain or weakness, but it can impact the structure of the mouth as well.
The jawbone, gums and palates are constantly replenishing their lost tissue, but when they are affected by osteoporosis, they cannot perform this function. Teeth are held in the jaw by the bones in the face. So when the jaw is deprived of strengthening nutrients, it can weaken and ultimately cause teeth to become loosened or dislodged.
Patients with missing teeth often pursue denture treatment in order to help them combat the symptoms associated with tooth loss. While they can help patients regain the ability to eat and smile without unsightly gaps, they are not without their problems.
Ill-fitting dentures can slip or slide in the mouth, causing difficulties while eating or talking. Plus, dentures are difficult to care for and don’t combat bone loss that results from having missing teeth.
Most dentists will recommend dental implants, as implants are the only restorative dental treatment that promotes healthy bone growth. Implants are permanent fixtures in the mouth designed to look and act like natural teeth. They are quickly becoming the standard in the field of restorative dentistry, so we generally recommend dental implants to our patients that are looking for restorative treatment.
The Malden Dental team is constantly surprised to learn that patients often ignore blood in the sink after brushing. Dismissing bleeding gums as a symptom of brushing too hard is a common mistake, but a serious one.
Bleeding gums is often the first sign of gum disease. Its earliest stage is called gingivitis, and gingivitis happens when plaque buildup along the gum line eats away at gum tissue. This causes the gums to become inflamed and tender, which may lead to bleeding while brushing, flossing or eating hard foods.
It is important to address bleeding gums as a serious concern. Gingivitis is unhealthy but reversible if you take immediate action. Improved brushing and flossing habits as well as regular dental visits can stop gingivitis in its tracks, but if left untreated, can evolve into a more serious stage of gum disease.
Answering our patients’ questions and concerns is important to us. We believe in keeping you fully informed and educated about your dental health, as that is the best way to maintain good oral hygiene habits. If you have questions or are unsure about a dental myth of your own, contact our office! We are happy to help you understand more about your smile.
Dr. Michael Jacobs
5955 Malden Road
Canada N9H 1S6
Monday: 9AM – 8PM
Tuesday: 9AM – 8PM
Wednesday: 8AM – 5PM
Thursday: 9AM – 8PM
Friday: 8AM - 4:30PM
Saturday: 9AM - 1PM