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4 Dental Health Myths We Can Do Without

Posted on December 1, 2014 | in Dental Care | by

Top Dental Health Myths

We are all guilty of believing one too many tall tales, but when we let dental health myths start effecting our teeth and gums, it could also negatively impact our overall health.

Let’s identify and discuss some of the most common dental health myths circulating around, then put them to bed once and for all.

What are Some the Biggest Myths About Dental Health?

This is by no means meant to be a complete list of dental health myths, and we do appreciate any input you care to contribute.

Some myths are so antiquated they don’t even deserve mention, while others may be somewhat new or not so widespread.

The only way we can disprove these dental health myths is by educating ourselves and helping to spread the awareness message throughout our social circles.

Dental Health Myth #1: There is No Pain, So Nothing is Wrong

There is only a problem if you feel pain, guilty as charged for this dental scribe. It’s kind of like the old adage, “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.

The only problem with this as it relates to dental health is this, the pain is there for a reason.

Tooth, jaw, or pain in the gums is not the first indicator something is wrong. Rather, the pain is there to alert the body that something has moved past the we can take care of this on our own stage, and into the requiring professional help phase.

According to WebMD, a toothache or tooth pain is caused when the nerve in the root of a tooth or surrounding a tooth is irritated. Dental (tooth) infection, decay, injury, or loss of a tooth are the most common causes of dental pain.

Here’s the rub…

With such oral health maladies as oral cancer, endodontic problems (tooth pulp), and gum disease, there is no pain prompt to act as a warning sign. And here’s another, if you are experiencing toothache pain – it won’t just go away on it’s own!

Lesson: There can be dental health problems without pain, and without regular visits to the dentist our dental health will certainly suffer.

Dental Health Myth #2: Dental X-Rays are Harmful

According to guidelines written by the American Dental Association and the Food and Drug Administration, dentists should evaluate each patient individually to asses their dental x-ray needs.

Some people with lots of dental health problems, or who are at high risk for cavities may need more frequent X-rays. And with some patients who don’t historically have dental health problems, the need for x-rays is less frequent.

– Children who are not at a high risk for cavities should get X-rays once every one to two years.
– Teens who are not at high risk should get them every year and a half to three years.
– Adults who aren’t at high risk should get them every two to three years.

Four bitewing X-rays, which is what many people receive during a routine dental exam, gives about .005 millisieverts of radiation, according to the American College of Radiology.

That’s about the same amount of radiation you get in a normal day from the sun and other sources. A panoramic dental X-ray, which goes around your head, has about twice that amount of radiation.

Here’s the rub…

More often than not, the only way to diagnose a dental health issue is with an X-ray.

Lesson: Talk to your dentist if you are concerned about radiation exposure for you, your kids, or your unborn baby. Ask for scientific proof, they’ll be happy to supply it…just don’t be surprised if you get an, “I told you so.

Do you currently or have you in the past found yourself a victim of these two common misconceptions – or myths – about dental health?

Tune In Next Week for 2 More Common Dental Health Myths

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+Chris Barnard is Managing Editor of, a patient-centric Social Dental Network blog dedicated to enabling the digital dental health conversation - and the eradication of the cavity creeps.
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