Cavities have been around as long as people have had teeth. Over time there have been certain myths regarding cavities that people take as truth. The truth is that no one wants to have a cavity, but the bad rap that you hear about cavities isn’t necessarily true.
Have you ever been told that sugar is the primary cause of cavities? Did your parents make you fearful of candy, sweets and treats in an effort to keep your teeth cavity free? Sugar doesn’t exactly cause cavities; the acid produced by the bacteria in your mouth is what primarily causes cavities. Eating sugar does trigger these harmful bacteria to make acid, so in a roundabout way, sugar is one cause of cavities. These bacteria make acid whenever you eat carbohydrates, so rice, potatoes, bread, vegetables and fruits are also to blame, not just sugar. The length of time your teeth are exposed to carbohydrates determines if decay becomes a cavity. Removing bacterial acids by brushing regularly and sipping lots of water helps prevent cavities.
You may be wondering if there’s truth behind tooth decay being caused by acidic foods. Unfortunately for citrus lovers this one is true. Acidic foods don’t cause cavities but they can damage your tooth enamel. Acids weaken tooth enamel which is what protects your dentin and tooth from decay. Compromised enamel can make you more prone to cavities.
If you think that children are more likely to get cavities that is a myth. Adults and children alike are equally susceptible to cavities. Advances in dentistry for children like sealants, fluorinated water and pediatric dentists have helped cut tooth decays in school aged children in half over the past 20 years. Because of certain medications and medical conditions of senior citizens there has been an increase in cavities in this portion of the population.
If you think that all fillings will eventually be replaced, you’d be incorrect. Fillings can last a lifetime if no decay compromises the filling and if the filling does not break down. Typically fillings do have a life expectancy but good oral hygiene habits can make them last as long as you need them! Placing aspirin on a tooth with a toothache doesn’t work, simply taking the aspirin will help with the pain.
If you have any other questions about cavities ask the staff at Grateful Dental, they will be happy to set you straight about cavity facts and myths.