15 Cavity Myths and Truths – Part 2

Welcome back to Part Two of our 15 Cavity Myths and Truths series! Today we are exploring five more facts versus fiction.

You’ll Know When You Have a Cavity…

This is a myth. “Sometimes you will know it, but at that point, it has usually spread to larger proportions than it would have if it had been found at a routine dental screening,” Horn-Blake says. It is impossible to determine when a cavity is starting to develop because oftentimes there are no symptoms. But as the cavity gets bigger, common symptoms include pain, sensitivity, toothache, and a dark spot or hole in the tooth.

Once a Tooth Is Treated, the Decay Stops…

Fact! Decay is removed once a cavity is filled. Taking care of your teeth can help the decay from the spot that was filled stay clear.

Cavities Are More Likely Between Teeth…

Another fact. Harm says, “Anywhere bacteria can hide that you can’t, or aren’t able to, reach with a toothbrush or floss is a likely place for decay.” Cavities in between teeth are called interproximal cavities. Because it is difficult to reach in between teeth, plaque forms, bacteria break down sugar and carbs, and cause an acid attack, which breaks down tooth enamel and causes a cavity.

Clenching and Grinding May Lead to Cavities…

Myth. Clenching and grinding puts a lot of pressure on your teeth and the strain can cause cracks and fractures of your teeth. This speeds up tooth decay. Did you know that the medical term for teeth grinding is bruxism? Because grinding usually occurs in your sleep, many people are unaware that they do it. Your dentist will be able to offer solutions to help you protect your teeth.

Gaps in Teeth Lead to Cavities…

This is a myth. “Bigger gaps are easier to clean,” Harms says. Wide spaces are less likely to develop cavities so long as they are free of bacteria. Additional tools, called interdental cleaners, are available to help clean between gaps. Your dentist can show you how to properly use these tools. And don’t forget to watch out for small gaps between your teeth. Food can get stuck and if not cleaned out, can lead to cavities.

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