The Truth About Cavities

When it comes to cavities, there’s a lot of confusion. And because the greatest weapon in the battle against oral disease is knowledge, let’s get the facts straight. Take a look at some of the most widely accepted myths and facts about cavities.

  1. Sugar is the only thing that causes cavities. Myth. Actually, the acid that is produced by bacteria in your mouth is what causes cavities. Any carb you consume will start that process, whether it’s sugar, rice, potatoes, bread, fruit or vegetables.
  2. Acid causes tooth decay. This is a fact. Acidic foods break down the protective enamel coating on your teeth, weakening teeth and leaving them more susceptible to decay. Eating or drinking acidic substances throughout the day, like soda and juice, can enhance that process.
  3. Kids get more cavities than adults. Definitely a myth. While cavities in school-aged kids have been significantly improved, thanks to fluoridated water, they are on the rise in senior citizens. Unfortunately, many of the medications used by many seniors cause dry mouth, or the reduction of saliva, which protects teeth.
  4. For a toothache, place an aspirin next to it. This is a myth that needs to be dispelled. Aspirin is very acidic, and it could actually burn your gum tissue and cause a painful ulcer. You need to swallow it if you want it to help your pain.
  5. All fillings will eventually need replacement. Myth. While some fillings may break down over time, depending on tooth wear and oral hygiene, there is not life expectancy on fillings.
  6. You’ll know when you have a cavity. Myth. By the time you able to self-diagnose a cavity, it has likely already become large and painful. It would have been identified much sooner, allowing you to avoid any pain, during a routine dental screening.
  7. Cavities are more likely to occur between teeth. Fact. Bacteria are sneaky, and prefer to hide in dark, moist areas, out of reach. Using a mouthwash and flossing can help keep these spaces clean and cavity free.
  8. Teeth sensitivity means you have decay. Myth. Cavities can cause sensitivity to cold and sweets, but not all do. There are other reasons why your teeth may be sensitive.
  9. Babies don’t get cavities. This is also a myth. Primary, or “baby” teeth can get cavities too. And if they’re left untreated, they ca spread to other teeth too. It’s important to take care of baby’s oral health too.
  10. You have to brush, floss and rinse to prevent cavities. Absolute TRUTH! Prevention is key. Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing and rinsing, will help remove bacteria from teeth, keeping your teeth and gums clean and healthy.

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