Dental cavities are extremely common, second to the common cold. They occur when acid, caused by bacteria, breaks through the tooth’s outer surface and infects its inner core. There are a lot of misunderstandings around the causes of cavities. Protect your teeth, know the right facts.
Top Ten Truths and Misconceptions About Cavities
1. Sugary Foods/Drinks Cause Cavities: True and False.
Oral bacteria thrives on sugar. When you eat anything with sugar, oral bacteria produces acid, which can make tiny holes (cavities) in your teeth. Don’t avoid sugar all together, simply avoid spending all day sipping sugary drinks and sodas. If you drink sugary drinks, rinse your mouth with water.
2. Acidic Foods Cause Tooth Decay: True.
Eating lemons and drinking sodas can erode tooth enamel. Overtime, this weakened tooth may expose its underlying dentin, making it more prone to decay.
3. Children Are More Prone to Cavities: True.
Since their teeth are softer and still developing, children are more prone to cavities. Dental sealants, fluoride treatment, and preventative care can lessen the risk. At the other end of the spectrum, seniors are also prone to cavities. The side effects to many medications is dry mouth. A dry mouth is a breeding ground for cavities and tooth decay. If you have a dry mouth, drink plenty of water and visit your dentist/hygienist regularly.
4. All Dental Fillings Need Replacing: False.
A dental fillings life expectancy is based on how well you care for it. If you brush and floss daily, and visit your dentist/hygienist regularly, your filling will last longer. But if you don’t properly care for it, like with your original tooth, it will break down.
5. You Know When You Have a Cavity: False.
The pain that is commonly associated with cavities is when decay is advanced and the nerve is damaged. A small cavity may not have any symptoms. But if it is left untreated, the infection can enlarge, leading to more extensive and expensive procedures.
6. Treating A Tooth Repairs Decay: True.
Once a cavity is filled and properly cared for, you typically will not get another infection in the same spot. If the tooth is not properly cleaned and the old filling breaks down, bacteria can get inside and decay can begin again.
7. Cavities Are More Likely Between Teeth: True.
Decay can happen anywhere, especially in those hard to reach places. That is why it is so important to brush and floss your teeth and visit your dentist/hygienist regularly.
8. Chipped/Cracked Teeth Can Decay: True.
If you grind/clench your teeth at night, they are more prone to chips and breaks. These are prime hiding paces for bacteria because they are harder to clean and overtime are more prone to decay. Wear a night guard and protect your teeth while you sleep.
9. Crooked Teeth Are More Prone to Cavities: True.
Crooked or misaligned teeth are more likely to get cavities, gum disease, or premature wearing. Straightening your teeth is not just cosmetic, it is healthier and they are easier to clean.
10. You Don’t Need to Worry About Cavities in Baby Teeth: False.
Baby teeth hold the space for permanent teeth. If these cavities are left untreated, it can lead to serious pain, and the bacteria can spread to other areas of the body.
Good home oral care and regular dental appointment are essential for preventing cavities. If you brush and floss daily, removing the bacteria from all surfaces of your teeth, you will help protect your oral and overall health.
If you have a cavity or have any questions about oral care, please contact our office at (514) 364-3366 or click here to visit our website. Also be sure to visit our Facebook page to keep up with information that affect your dental health and wellness.