Tooth decay is deemed one of the most common health issues since it is second only to the common cold. However, this condition is surrounded by numerous myths and misconceptions that can mislead you. That’s why it is extremely important to be aware of the facts and proven information about tooth decay. Here is a list of seven debunked myths about tooth decay you shouldn’t believe in.
1. Tooth decay is caused by sugar
Even though increased sugar intake can significantly boost your chances to develop cavities, sugar doesn’t eat away your tooth enamel. But the bacteria that eat the sugar are the real cause of cavities. During their vital activity, the bacteria produce acids that soften and remove your tooth enamel. That’s why it is so important to limit the consumption of sugar.
2. Only kids can develop cavities
There is a common misconception that only kids are prone to cavities. Indeed, tooth decay is quite common in children since they can neglect proper oral hygiene and eat a lot of sugar. However, adults that have a sweet tooth and don’t clean their teeth thoroughly can also develop cavities.
3. Tooth decay is always painful
Many people think that tooth decay always causes toothache. But you should understand that the initial stages of tooth decay can develop asymptomatically or with mild symptoms like dark stains on the tooth enamel. When a cavity reaches nerve endings and blood vessels, you may experience a toothache. That’s why you need to visit a dentist for check-ups even if you don’t have any alarming signs of cavities.
4. Teeth grinding can lead to cavities
Teeth grinding is a condition in which a person clenches their teeth throughout the day or during sleep. Even though teeth grounding can lead to enamel wear, it does not necessarily result in tooth decay. If a person who suffers from teeth grinding maintains proper oral hygiene, eats healthy foods, and visits a dentist regularly, he or she may not have cavities at all.
5. Tooth sensitivity always indicates tooth decay
Tooth sensitivity is a condition in which a tooth reacts with pain to hot or cold foods and drinks, sweets, and other factors. Indeed, increased teeth sensitivity is considered one of the most common signs of tooth decay. However, there are other oral issues that can also make your teeth sensitive to temperature changes. For example, enamel erosion, receding gums, gum disease, dental abscess, and tooth fracture can manifest through toothache and tooth sensitivity.
6. Cavities can’t cause tooth loss
Some people think that cavities can be left untreated since they don’t cause serious complications. But the reality is that tooth decay is considered one of the leading causes of tooth loss. Advanced tooth decay can damage the roots of the tooth so it can fall out or you may need to extract the damaged tooth and replace it with a dental implant or bridge.
7. You can treat cavities at home
While there are certain pastes and home remedies that can help ease a toothache or seal a cavity for some time, these options can’t be considered proper treatment. To get rid of a cavity, you may need to get a dental filling or undergo a root canal procedure at the dental clinic.
The bottom line
It is essential to understand that tooth decay is a quite serious condition that can cause toothache, bad breath, increased tooth sensitivity, and tooth loss. That’s why it is essential to prevent the development of cavities and visit your dentist on a regular basis for examination and treatment.