Myths vs. Facts

BY Dr. Brad Sievert

While snoring mainly affects men (57 percent of men snore), 40 percent of women and 27 percent of children also suffer from it. In fact, half of the US population is believed to snore. This means the partners (if any) of anyone who snores and other family members may suffer due to this habit.

Snoring only bothers my wife.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, snoring is common, with 50 percent of the US population being affected, but it is not normal. It occurs due to the airway getting obstructed by the tongue or soft tissues in the throat during sleep. Snoring can also be a symptom of sleep apnea, leading to ill effects ranging from fatigue to heart problems.

Snoring is normal.

Flossing has many benefits apart from removing food particles stuck between teeth. It prevents bacteria build-up and the formation of plaque and tartar. This prevents bad breath, gum disease, and other oral problems and protects teeth from decay.

Flossing is just to get food out from between our teeth.

Regular visits to the dentist are essential to prevent problems that may occur in the future. Your dentist may detect oral issues, which are easier to treat in the early stages as some dental problems arise without any obvious symptoms. They may also be alerted to other matters that could lead to serious health problems, like oral cancer and cardiac diseases.

Nothing hurts in my mouth, so I don’t need to see a dentist.

While sugar doesn’t cause cavities, it forms when oral bacteria digest the carbohydrate from sugar and other foods. This procedure forms an acid that erodes the tooth’s hard enamel and is responsible for decay and cavities. If not removed, this plaque will eventually erode the other layers of the tooth, causing pain, gum disease, tooth loss, and many other issues.

Sugar causes cavities.

Chewing gum increases the saliva flow in your mouth, helping dilute sugars and food particles. It neutralizes and washes away the harmful acids produced when oral bacteria digest your food. However, it is not a replacement for brushing and flossing as it cannot reach all surfaces of teeth the way brushing and flossing do in combination. Chewing gum, especially the sugar-free variety, after meals is great if you can’t immediately brush your teeth.

Chewing gum is a suitable replacement for brushing.