In my last blog we discussed the pervading myths on root canals, baby teeth and dentures. This blog will address even more popularly held beliefs that could not be more false. Welcome to dental myths dispelled, part 2.
4. Dentistry is Expensive
Really? Compared to what? A friend once showed me a bill from her veterinarian to have her dog’s teeth cleaned. Not to denigrate veterinarians but it was a lot more than my fees! What’s really expensive is neglect. Not paying attention to proper home care procedures and failing to take care of problems when they are small and easily managed can be a very costly mistake. People often decry the fact that they don’t have a dental insurance. Insurance is actually Intended for catastrophic problems, i.e. your house burns down, you need a $100,000 triple bypass, etc. Dental problems can be more easily managed financially with proper planning and smart prevention. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish!
5. Dental Disease has no Effect on my General Health.
With all that’s been written in the media recently, I can hardly believe anyone holds this to be true anymore. Dental disease and periodontal (gum) disease in particular has been associated with pre-term low birth-weight babies, diabetes, and heart disease, to name a few. Think about it. Even in times past, when folks went to buy a horse, the first thing they looked at were his teeth! People instinctively knew that an animal’s health was related to its general health. Sir William Osler, one of the most forward-thinking physicians who ever lived, is quoted as having said, “The mouth is the gateway to the body.” More than that, the mouth is an indicator of what’s going on in the body!
6. It’s Normal to Lose Teeth as We Age
There are over 30 million people in this country alone that are completely edentulous (having lost all their teeth), So it’s easy to see why people might think it’s normal to lose teeth as we age. Fact is – teeth are lost as a result of disease, periodontal (gum) disease in particular, the number one cause of tooth loss in adults. In fact, periodontal disease is so widespread that it is said to be more common than the common cold! 80% of adults have some form of gum disease and gum disease causes 90% of the tooth loss in adults. Statistically a lot of folks may be missing teeth, but remember, teeth are lost as a result of disease. Disease is not normal. Health is normal!