We’re more than happy to answer our patients’ questions when they come visit us at Brooklyn Heights Dental. But sometimes we hear some truly bizarre dental care tips that complete myths or only partially true. Take a look as we explore a small sample of myths that our patients have shared, and what the truth is behind them.
“Sugar directly causes 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.
“Gum disease is contagious through kissing.”
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. However, be sure that they’re receiving treatment if their symptoms are becoming painful or noticeable.
“If your gums are bleeding, don’t brush them.”
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.
“Whitening your teeth makes them healthier.”
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.
“Bad breath means you aren’t brushing correctly.”
Bad breath could mean a number of things, other than brushing incorrectly: bad breath, also known as halitosis, can occur from: bacteria in the mouth or on the tongue; 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, schedule a consultation with Dr. Stanislaus to be evaluated for possible causes.
Contact Us About Your Myth
Have you heard a strange dental myth or dental tip, and aren’t sure if it’s true or not? Ask us! Our team is experienced and ready to answer your questions here in Brooklyn, so don’t hesitate. If a consultation is what you seek, ask Dr. Stanislaus about being evaluated for dentures or periodontal treatments.