A logo of a tooth with a cavity in its surface.

Facts and Myths about Cavities

By the time we are able to brush our teeth on our own, most of us can remember being told about cavities. If you have ever needed a filling or other dental work, you may know a bit more about cavities than someone who is yet to have the experience. However, there are still some misconceptions about how we get them and what you should do about a cavity.

Here are some common myths that surround cavities and the reality behind these misconceptions:

Myth:

If my teeth don’t hurt, nothing is wrong.

Fact:

By the time a tooth begins to hurt, it means the cavity and tooth decay has gone deep into the tooth and is now irritating the nerve. The longer you leave an issue, the more complex and expensive the treatment will be. Therefore, regular checkups are necessary to catch dental issues before they become extensive. Waiting for there to be an issue in the mouth before going to the dentist can mean the difference between a simple filling and a root canal.

Myth:

Sugar-free soda can’t cause cavities.

Fact:

Sugar is a huge contributor to the cause of cavities, as it creates a food source for harmful bacteria in the mouth, but it is not the only contributor. Anything that makes your mouth more acidic, such as diet sodas, can cause erosion. The harmful bacteria metabolize the sugar or acids left on your teeth and excrete lactic acid that creates small holes in tooth enamel.

Myth:

With good dental care, teeth can repair their own tooth enamel (remineralisation).

Fact:

Experts have said that teeth can replace some of the minerals that its enamel has lost. This process is called remineralisation and can slow or even stop decay. However, once bacteria and decay get through that enamel, the damage is done, and the erosion can not be reversed. The cavity has to be treated or it will continue to erode away at the tooth until it reaches the nerve. The nerve will eventually die. Depending on how long you leave a cavity, you could be looking at needing a root canal or a tooth removal.

Myth:

A filling is forever and can not get cavities.

Fact:

Although fillings can last for over a decade, they do eventually wear and break down. Tooth decay can not affect a filling but it can set in to the tooth around the edges of a filling or underneath the filling if it is broken.

Myth:

Cavities are for kids

Fact:

Anyone who has poor dental hygiene and consumes a lot of sugary food stuffs is at risk of developing cavities. Saliva is a natural buffer to all the acids in your mouth, so adults who smoke or take medications that cause dry mouth are at an even greater risk, as they have low saliva production.

There is always a risk of developing a cavity, whether you are 6 or 76 years old. The important thing is to look after your dental health through daily care and regular dentist visits. At East Mountain Dental, you can be sure to get great dental care. Contact our Provo office today.

Leave a Comment