- Published on Wednesday, 26 March 2014 00:48
- Written by Super User
Your friends and family may have all types of advice about what to do to help prevent you or your child's cavity issues. But the truth is that most of this "common knowledge" about what causes cavities is based more so in fiction then fact. Here are the top five most common cavity causing myths busted. I’m sure that you’ve even heard a few yourself..
1. It's Gotta be the Sugar - This one is based in truth, but it can get a little blown out of proportion at times. The real root cause of most cavities is found in the bacteria produced in your mouth. Where sugar comes into play is that carbohydrates trigger this mouth bacteria to be produced, and sugar is a carbohydrate. What happens is this bacteria will eventually dig a little cozy hole to live in your mouth, and then once they're comfortable, the bacteria will just continue to eat carbs and produce acid which will cause the hole to grow larger over time.
For prevention purposes, remember that it's not the amount of carbs you eat that really matters. However, it's the length of time that you eat them more so. For instance, it's much better to eat a carb loaded meal than to do something like sip soda all day. This continuous exposure is what really eats away at our teeth over time.
2. Cavities are more Common in Kids than Adults - Maybe back 20+ years ago this would've been true, but in the past 20 years cavities in school aged children have actually decreased by almost 50%. However, cavities in adults and especially seniors are on the rise. The reason being is that children are being brought up with better oral health habits now than they were years ago. With regular fluoride treatments, sealants, and dental check ups, children's oral health is at an all time high, but their parent’s generation may not have grown up with such high dental standards. Seniors face many obstacles to overcome in regards to cavity prevention, one of the main obstacles being that so many of their medications have the byproduct of dry mouth associated with them. Saliva is the essential ingredient needed to fight cavity causing bacteria in our mouths. So when we get dry mouth, we are at a significant disadvantage with our fightagainst tooth decay. Try chewing sugarless gum to fight off your dry mouth and future cavities if you do have this issue.
3. You'll Know it if you have a Cavity! - This is a huge myth. Yes, when you have severe tooth decay you'll be able to feel it, but all cavities start out as minor holes and then grow over time. When they are in the beginning stages you will most likely not feel a thing, maybe not even on the dental check up. This is a good thing because catching cavities in this early stage will help save you a lot of pain and money down the road. This is why going to your regular six month dental cleanings is so important.
4. Tooth Sensitivity means Tooth Decay - Yes, sensitivity could possibly mean this, but it most likely means that you may just have very sensitive teeth, or perhaps you have gum disease and a part of the root may be exposed. You may even have a cracked or broken tooth. There are many reasons for having sensitive teeth, with cavities being one of the more rare causes.
5. There's No Need to Worry about Cavities in Baby Teeth - Even though baby teeth are temporary, you most definitely still need to focus on preventing them. The reason being is that cavities in baby teeth can lead to serious pain and abscesses if left untreated. In some cases this can even lead to infection that could spread to other parts of the body. So yes, you must still have a regular dental hygiene routine for your infant or else risk cavities or something possibly more severe happening as a result.
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