Posted by: Georgi 

Here are some commonly believed concepts concerning how cavities are prevented, caused, and treated. Which ones are true or false?

1. The Prime Cause of Cavities is Sugar
This one is actually both true and false. Your mouth contains bacteria which produces acid that can cause cavities to occur. These bacteria feed off of carbohydrates, such as sugar. Other carbohydrates include vegetables, fruits, breads, potatoes, and rice.
Whenever carbohydrates are present, these bacteria will release acid that can eat at your teeth.

2. Citrus Fruits Cause Tooth Decay
This is true. While acidic citrus foods and beverages (including soft drinks) do not cause cavities, they are able to eat away at your tooth enamel.

3. Children Are More Susceptible To Cavities than Adults
This is false. Fluoridated water, sealants, and preventative care have helped industrialized nations to cut the amount of tooth decay and cavities in children by half within the last twenty years.

There has, however, been an increase in cavities occurring with the senior citizen community. This is usually due to the fact that they have to take certain kinds of medications that reduce the amount of saliva they produce. This lack of saliva means they are not as capable of fighting tooth decay as they once were since saliva helps to disinfect the mouth, wash away bacteria, and prevent food from collecting on one’s teeth.

4. Placing Aspirin Next to a Tooth can Cure a Toothache
This is false. Swallowing aspirin will help reduce pain, not placing it beside the tooth. Placing it beside the tooth may actually cause the gum near the tooth to become burned and abscess. Please, swallow your aspirin!

5. All Fillings Will Need Replacing
This is false. The only reason why a composite or amalgam filling would need to be replaced is if it breaks or fractures. It would also need to be replaced if a cavity forms around the filling. The filling will be able to used for life as long as none of these things occur.

6. You’ll Know if You Have a Cavity
This is false. Tooth decay that is mild will most likely not cause any symptoms to occur. Pain associated with cavities usually only occurs when the nerve has been damaged due to severe tooth decay.

Advanced tooth decay can cause expensive procedures to follow such as root canals. Dental checkups are extremely important for avoiding this kind of procedures from occurring.

7. Once Treated, Tooth Decaying Stops
This is true. While decays can later occur in other parts of the tooth, typically no other tooth decay will occur in the area where the decay was originally before it was taken out.

Always make sure to maintain good brushing and flossing habits after getting a cavity filled in order to prevent further decay.

8. Cavities are More Likely to Occur Between Teeth
This is ture. Bacteria love to hide in places where floss or toothbrushes are unable to reach. Fact. Your front teeth contain deep grooves where tooth decay is more likely to occur.

9. Tooth Gaps Encourage Cavities
This is true. Those who have small gaps between their teeth are more likely to develop tooth decay if they are not cleaned properly.
Bigger gaps are less likely to develop tooth decay because they are easier to clean. Still they can become infected with bacteria if not cared for properly.

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