Nobody enjoys having a cavity. Some of us even take extra precautions to avoid one altogether. Even more of us are still unsure as to what exactly causes cavities in the first place. Have no fear, my Garden City dental office is here to debunk some common cavity myths.
Cavity Myth 1: Sugar is what causes cavities.
While sugar is definitely a way to get cavities, it’s not the sole contributor. Carbohydrates like bread, potatoes, and yes, sugar, are actually the main cavity causing culprits, or are at least the first step in creating them. When carbs linger in the mouth, they trigger bacteria. The bacteria creates acid which eats away at tooth enamel. This makes it easier for the bacteria to grow and thrive, creating cavities. So should you limit your carb intake? Not necessarily. It’s not necessarily how many carbs you eat that determines how at risk you are for cavities, it’s how long your teeth are exposed to them.
Cavity Myth 2: Children get more cavities than adults.
Advancements in dental technology and preventive tactics have actually led to a decrease in the number of cavities in children. However, senior citizens are a different story. Many seniors take a variety of medications. Some of these medicines result in dry mouth. When someone suffers from dry mouth, their chance for cavities increases since the supply of saliva is inadequate. Saliva is used to rinse away those harmful bacteria. Without it, cavities have a better chance of developing.
Cavity Myth 3: You’ll know when you have a cavity.
Not necessarily. While it’s completely possible to feel pain when you have a cavity, the pain could be associated with a number of other dental concerns like cracks in the enamel, roots exposed by gum recession, or simply sensitive teeth. However, when a cavity is present with pain, it’s likely that the decay has reached an advanced stage when it’s caused damage to the nerves. People rarely experience pain with mild to moderate decay.
We’ve revealed some truth to cavity myths, but we haven’t talked about the best way to avoid decay. Regular visits to my dental office in Garden City, brushing at least twice a day, and flossing once a day are time-tested, dentist-approved top ways to keep your mouth healthy. Has it been awhile since you’ve seen a dentist? Give us call!
Welcoming patients in Garden City, Mineola, Floral Park, and nearby neighborhoods.