January 20, 2017
Being a dentist means finding the best ways to give you a beautiful, healthy smile. That can come through treating a cavity, helping ease someone’s fear, or provide quality information about great dental practices. The age of internet helps us become more educated about medical treatments, but it can be a slippery slope.
Every once in awhile, I find myself saying, “And where did you read this?” Well, today I want to share some of the biggest dental myths you need to avoid. These myths can hurt your smile and affect your overall health. Don’t let that happen. You need to read on.
Sleep apnea is more than snoring. While snoring is one of the biggest signs of sleep apnea, it’s hardly the only sign. People with sleep apnea often do snore, but they also wake up gasping for air at night. And there are many other symptoms. You might wake up feeling exhausted, experience morning headaches, or feel even irritable throughout the day.
What’s even scary about sleep apnea is that it’s deadly. You can stop breathing at night, and this has been connected to serious long-term health problems like diabetes, heart disease, etc. Luckily, there are a few ways to treat sleep apnea. You can wear a CPAP machine that continuously pushes air into the lungs. Or we can fashion an oral appliance for you to wear at night. The appliance pushes the lower jaw forward to keep the airways open during sleep.
Bleeding gums AREN’T normal. It’s true that many people suffer from bleeding gums, but the problem is anything but normal. Your gums should not bleed, and your teeth should not hurt. Bleeding or swollen gums are the first signs of gum disease. Unfortunately, gum disease is a MAJOR issue in this country. It will affect more than 50 percent of Americans and has ties to serious health problems like heart disease and diabetes.
If gum disease takes over your mouth, it can cause rampant tooth loss. Rampant tooth loss, or any tooth loss, makes it harder to digest your food. That’s why some many patients with missing teeth or removable dentures maintain unhealthy diets. To avoid these problems, don’t take bleeding gums lightly. Get to the dentist!
Dentures are NOT equal to natural teeth. Your natural teeth are your best teeth. Though we have new forms of tooth replacement options like dental implants, nothing is equal to your natural teeth. Certainly not removable dentures. Removable dentures have about 25 to 50 percent of the biting force of natural teeth (but that depends on how much jawbone the patient has left). That means most of the crunchy or hard foods you enjoyed with your teeth are off the menu for denture wearers.
That’s not to say there is no hope for people without teeth. Today we can place durable dental implants that nearly match the power of your natural teeth. Our dental implants will preserve the jawbone and can be restored with either crowns, bridges, or dentures. The patients who receive our dental implant treatment find that they can eat whatever they want. Of course, the right tooth replacement options depends on your budget and dental goals!
Braces ARE NOT Your Only Option. When you think about straightening teeth, you probably have images of metal brackets and wires. Look, metal brackets and wires are still perhaps the best way to straighten, but they are hardly the only. Over the last several decades, dentists have implemented new ways to straighten teeth, including Invisalign. My office can treat your mildly crooked teeth using Invisalign.
Not only does Invisalign take less time than traditional braces, but it’s subtle (totally treatment is about 12 to 18 months whereas braces often take more than two years). During your Invisalign treatment, you’ll use a series of clear aligners that will move the teeth into a better position. Invisalign is so discreet that even your closest family members may not know that you’re undergoing treatment.
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These are just of the few dental myths you’ll need to avoid in order to maintain a healthy mouth. Or maybe to avoid the WRONG treatments! Call our office at 503-837-2718 for more information or to book a visit with us. We look forward to meeting you!