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5 Common Dental Myths: Fact or Fiction?

Posted on November 27th, 2019

When it comes to ridiculous beliefs on dental hygiene and treatment, we’ve heard just about everything. However, the most dangerous ones usually aren’t quite so over the top. Unfortunately, a number of dental myths are floating all over the world, so your San Luis Obispo dentist is here to put an end to the misinformation. Don’t feel bad if you have believed one or more of these at some point, you’re not the only one, but do make sure to give us a call at Michael Colleran, DDS if you have any questions or concerns.

If your gums are bleeding, don’t brush them

The idea behind this false claim is that bleeding gums need to be allowed time to heal before they should be brushed, when in fact, gums bleed because they haven’t been brushed enough! This is because bacteria buildup around and beneath the gum line has irritated the gums. If your gums are bleeding, it means you have gingivitis, or worse, advanced gum disease and you should see us right away.

Sensitive teeth are a sign of cavities

Tooth sensitivity varies among San Luis Obispo residents. Some people have particularly sensitive teeth, and others simply have recessed gumlines, which expose tooth roots and cause sensitivity. Although tooth decay may cause sensitivity, it is not always at fault.

More sugar means more cavities

Tooth decay and cavities are the product of bacteria breaking down sugars into harmful acids. The amount of sugar in your mouth plays a part, but the most important factor is how long the sugar remains on your teeth. Brushing after meals or rinsing with water after eating sugary foods is a good policy.

Bleaching can harm or weaken teeth

Bleaching does not affect the health, integrity, or strength of teeth. In fact, teeth whitening only changes the color of teeth by removing tooth pigmentation. Some people may experience sensitive teeth or mild gum irritation after bleaching, but these are temporary and do not indicate that any harm has been done.

Applying aspirin directly to teeth helps get rid of toothaches

Do not do this! Aspirin does not work that way; it is effective only when it enters the bloodstream. Even worse, Dr. Colleran reminds us that when aspirin comes into contact with teeth, it can actually cause more pain from an acid burn. Think about it—would you rub an aspirin tablet on your back for a muscle ache? Probably not.

Dental myths can do serious harm when allowed to spread. We want everyone to have healthy, beautiful smiles, so please pass this information along, and let us know if you have any questions about how to properly care for your teeth.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.


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About Dr. Colleran

Dr. Colleran is a nationally renowned dental author and lecturer and an expert on laser dentistry. He has spoken across the country on laser dentistry and had articles appear in several professional journals. He is also sought after by dental manufacturers as a consultant for product evaluation and research. Dr. Colleran is an instructor for the Institute for Advanced Laser Dentistry, which teaches LANAP and other laser dental procedures to dentists from across the globe.

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