The Facts Behind 2 Myths About Cavities You May Have Heard

Ever since you were a little child, you may have heard about cavities, especially when your parents took you to see the dentist. Along the way, however, you may have also heard some myths that are either not true or involve more than just what was told. Below are some facts behind two of the myths you may have heard during your lifetime.

1.  Too Much Sugar Causes Cavities

While you were growing up, your parents and other adults may have told you that you cannot have too much sugar because it causes cavities. As a parent yourself, you may also be telling your own children this statement. However, there is more to it than simply saying that you should not eat too much candy or sweets.

Although it is true that eating too many sweets can contribute to the formation of cavities, sugary stuff is not the only type of food that does so. Any foods containing carbohydrates, such as bread, pasta, and potatoes, can lead to cavities.

However, this only happens if the residual sugar from the food's breakdown is allowed to remain on the teeth. If this happens, the acids that come from the residue is what will cause the enamel to deteriorate. This is why it is imperative to brush and floss on a regular basis to remove food residue.

2.  No Pain Means the Cavity Is No Big Deal

Another myth you may have heard is that a cavity is only a cause for concern when you start feeling pain. As a result, even if your dentist tells you that you have one, you may put off having it filled.

However, the ideal time to have a cavity treated is before you start feeling pain or having other symptoms. While the cavity is still new, the damage has typically only affected the hard surface enamel of the tooth. In this case, it can be easily filled by your dentist to prevent further deterioration.

If you allow the cavity to go untreated, however, the hole will increase in size and eventually go down into to the dentin and nerves. This can quickly lead to tooth decay, which would require more treatment than a simple filling, such as a root canal or even an extraction if the damage is severe enough.

Knowing the truth about some of the myths that you have heard about cavities can help you take steps toward preventing them or getting them treated right away. For more information, or if you suspect that you may have a cavity, contact an office that provides dental services to set up an appointment.