Have You Fallen for These Cavity Myths?

 Azarko Marketing  Thursday, December 04, 2014

Most people hear a few myths and accept them like common knowledge, like the supposition that a goldfish has a 3-second memory (in fact, it has a reliable memory). You may have also heard that chewing gum stays in your stomach for 8 years (nothing stays in your stomach that long, even if you don’t digest it).

Many people accept some cavity myths as common knowledge as well. Have you fallen into this trap?

Read on to find out the truth behind these cavity myths!

1. Sugar causes cavities.

In reality, acid causes cavities. The bacteria that live in your mouth eat all kinds of carbohydrates, and when they digest the carbohydrates, they produce acids. The acids wear through the enamel of your teeth, giving the bacteria holes to hide from your floss and toothbrush—and they’ll continue to produce acid, widening the holes.

Sugary foods can’t harm your teeth by themselves, but acidic foods can. Acidic foods will only accelerate the process that the bacteria use to wear holes in your teeth.

This doesn’t mean you should recklessly eat sugar—it’s classified as a carbohydrate and will feed the bacteria, but sugar by itself doesn’t harm your teeth.

2. Aspirin will relieve a toothache if you put it next to your tooth.

Aspirin causes a lot more problems than it solves when you use it this way. It might distract you from your toothache, but that will only happen because it’ll burn your gum tissue.

Aspirin has acid in it, so it’ll start to wear through your gums and even your tooth enamel, leading to cavities in your teeth and abscesses in your gums.

So if you want to get rid of tooth pain, just swallow the pill. It’ll go into your bloodstream and block pain receptors, giving you lasting (and safe) relief from the pain.

3. You’ll know it when you develop a cavity.

You’ve probably heard that you’ll feel a cavity when it develops; you’ll feel sensitivity or pain in the area. You’ve heard correctly, but most people don’t realize that you’ll only experience these symptoms with an advanced cavity—or when the bacteria has reached the nerve in the centre of your tooth.

With small or moderate cavities, you won’t feel anything at all. Your Edmonton dentist can find cavities in these stages if you go in for regular checkups, but you probably won’t notice them on your own, especially if they develop in the crevices or on the backs of your teeth.

4. You only need a root canal after you’ve had a cavity.

You commonly do need a root canal after an extensive cavity. However, you could need a root canal for any kind of nerve damage inside your mouth. If you crack or break your teeth, you may also need a root canal.

In fact, grinding or even clenching your teeth can lead to severe tooth damage and lead to a root canal. Just treat your teeth well by maintaining proper oral hygiene and not clenching your jaw when you think or sleep.

5. Tooth sensitivity always means you have cavities.

Although sensitivity often accompanies cavities, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you do have a cavity. You may also experience it because of a few other conditions, including:

  • Hypersensitivity
  • Exposed roots from gum recession
  • Cracked/broken teeth

You may also develop sensitivity because you recently whitened your teeth. The whitening solution opens the pores in your teeth and makes them more sensitive to all kinds of hot, cold, and sweet foods.

6. Children get more cavities than adults.

Although milk/baby teeth are less robust than adult teeth, preventative care and sealants have flipped this myth on its head. Children typically get fewer cavities than adults, especially senior citizens.

Due to different medications and conditions, senior citizens have difficulty fighting cavities. Their medications could dry out their mouths, keeping them from producing the saliva that would have washed away the bacteria.

7. You’ll have to replace all your fillings at least once.

Unless you fracture the tooth or get a cavity around your fillings, you’ll never have to replace them at all. They’ll last as long as your teeth if you take care of them, so just make sure you maintain proper dental hygiene.

8. Tooth decay continues even after the dentist treats your cavity.

Once the dentist has removed the decay and filled the hole, the cavity won’t grow any more. You can always get a new cavity in the same place or other places on the tooth, but the current cavity won’t continue to grow.

For more cavity prevention visit our Edmonton dentist office at Azarko Dental Group today!