In honor of October’s National Dental Hygiene Month, will be posting the most common myths and facts of dentistry each week for the rest of the month!
MYTH: It’s normal for your gums to bleed.
- FACT: Bleeding gums are one of the eight signs of gum disease. Think of gum tissue as the skin on your hand. If your hands bled every time you washed them, you would know something is wrong. Why does it bleed? Bacteria infect your gums and teeth, then eat away at the gums. This causes little ulcers beneath the gumline. Your body then sends more blood to the area to try to fight off the infection, which causes your gums to become red and swollen.
MYTH: I must be too aggressive when I brush because my gums bleed.
- FACT: It is possible to brush or floss too hard, but it would take an incredible amount of force to cause bleeding in completely healthy tissue. You would know if you were causing this kind of trauma. It is far more likely that your bleeding gums are the result of gum disease, or an infection of your gums. If this is the case, brushing/flossing more often and more slowly (with a soft toothbrush) will help the gums to heal and reduce bleeding, not the other way around. Using an anti-bacterial mouth rinse would also help.
MYTH: Electric toothbrushes are just as effective as regular manual toothbrushes
- FACT: Research has shown that it can take a regular toothbrush up to 6 minutes to remove the same amount of plaque that an electric toothbrush can remove in 2-3. Six minutes of brushing!! The vibration also massages your gums, promotes healing and reduces stain/tarter build up.
For addition information:
Springs Oral Health, Dr Matthew Burton