Facts And Myths About Cavities

Facts

1. Exposure to acidic foods causes tooth decay

Acidic foods like citrus juices, lemons or soft drinks don’t cause cavities but they do put your enamel in danger. Acids can erode the enamel which protects the teeth and weaken them. If the dentin gets exposed, your tooth could be decayed. Read 10 Foods That Stain Your Teeth to know more.

2. The decaying stops once a tooth is treated

You can get decay in other areas of the teeth apart from the one which is treated. You won’t decay the spot again if you maintain a good oral hygiene after filling the cavity.

3. More likely cavities are between teeth

Bacteria can develop anywhere where your toothbrush doesn’t reach. The area which is more prone to decay is the deep grooves on the back of your front teeth. It can also happen between teeth as the toothbrush doesn’t reach there.

4. Gaps in teeth causes cavities

The chances of developing tooth decay are high if you have small gaps between your teeth and are unable to clean them. Big gaps could be cleaned so the chances of them getting decayed are less.

5. Chips and cracks in teeth lead to decay

Cracks and chips create a place for bacteria to grow. This happens because your toothbrush doesn’t reach their. Cracks occur because of teeth grinding.

6. Brushing and flossing can prevent cavities

Flossing and brushing your teeth is the key in protecting your teeth from cavities. You can prevent the growth of bacteria by brushing twice a day and flossing regularly. If you follow good oral hygiene you are safe from cavities.

Myths

1. Kids are more vulnerable to cavities than adults

The cavities in school kids have decreased fairly. However an increase in cavities is seen amongst senior citizens. This happens due to some medical conditions. Some medication can cause dry mouth which reduces saliva. Saliva plays an important role in preventing decay.

2. Placing aspirin next to a tooth will prevent toothache

If you want to get rid of toothache, you need to swallow the aspirin and not just place it on teeth. Considering that aspirin is acidic, placing it on your tooth might cause abscess.

3. All fillings need to be replaced with time

A composite filling or amalgam needs replacement if it breaks down, the tooth gets fractured or cavities form around it. If none of the mentioned issues occur then you can keep the same filling lifelong. To keep your fillings intact you must follow good oral hygiene.

4. If you have a cavity, you will know it

You will never know if you have a cavity. Mild tooth decay doesn’t show any symptoms. The pain occurs when the cavity gets in the advanced stage. If the tooth decay advances more, you may have to get a root canal treatment. Once a cavity occurs, it will continue to grow throughout.

5. Tooth sensitivity means tooth decay

Tooth sensitivity is different from tooth decay. It simply means you have hypersensitive teeth, or the recession in gum has exposed some root surface.

6. Cavities are the prime cause for root canals

You need to undergo a root canal treatment if the nerve inside the tooth gets damaged. If your cavities are untreated they may eventually lead to nerve damage. But that’s not the only reason. Fractures and cracks can also cause damage to the nerve.

7. You don’t have to worry about cavities in Baby teeth

Baby teeth or milk teeth hold space for permanent teeth. If the cavities are not treated in milk teeth, they can give rise to serious tooth pain later on.

Fact & Myth

Sugar is the major cause of cavities

The fact is the acid produced by bacteria in your mouth causes cavities. However the bacteria eat carbohydrates which are present in sugar. Along with sugar; rice, bread, potatoes, fruits and vegetables are also carbohydrates. The bacteria produce acids when you eat anything with carbs.

Once the bacteria are produced, they continue to metabolize carbs and produce acids. This increases the cavities. The amount of carbohydrates that you consume doesn’t cause tooth decay but the duration for which your teeth are exposed to it. Consuming sugary things all day long is bad for your teeth.

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