7 Common Myths About Tooth Decay That You Shouldn’t Believe In


Tooth decay (cavities) is an extremely common condition that affects people all over the world. It occurs when the bacteria in your mouth produce acids that eat away your tooth enamel. As a result, your tooth develops a hole that can become deeper over time. 

However, many people believe in various myths about tooth decay that makes them neglect proper oral care and treatment. In this article, we have gathered seven common myths about tooth decay that you shouldn't believe in.

1. Sugar causes cavities

Indeed, people who eat a lot of sweets are more likely to develop tooth decay but sugar can’t remove your tooth enamel. But its increased intake can contribute to bacteria overgrowth since the cavity-causing bacteria are fond of sugar. That’s why it is still better to limit sugar consumption and rinse your water after eating sweets to decrease the number of bacteria in your mouth. 

2.  Tooth decay is always painful

Many people define that they have tooth decay only when an affected tooth starts to ache. But you should know that the initial stages of tooth decay may not cause toothache or any other symptoms. Moreover, teeth that don’t have nerve endings may also be painless even if they have significant cavities. That’s why you need to visit a general dentist on a regular basis.

3. Only kids can develop cavities

Even though kids are prone to cavities, it doesn’t mean that only they can be affected by tooth decay. Due to the fact that the real cause of cavities is bacteria overgrowth, both children and adults that don't maintain proper oral hygiene and eat a lot of sweets have equal chances to get a cavity sooner or later.

4. Cavities can be left untreated

There is a common misconception that tooth decay is not dangerous so you may not seal a cavity. But in addition to severe pain and increased tooth sensitivity, a decayed tooth can develop a dental abscess. This is a dangerous condition that occurs when the infection leads to the development of pus in the tooth. Moreover, cavities can reach the roots of the tooth. In this case, you may need to extract a tooth and replace it with an implant or bridge. 

5. Treated toothache means treated tooth decay

Some people think that when they take painkillers to ease a toothache caused by tooth decay, they don’t need any other treatment. But the reality is that a toothache is only a symptom and managing the pain doesn’t mean that tooth decay stops. Indeed, you can take painkillers if you can't visit a dentist for treatment right now but you should understand that the relief provided by medications is temporary.

6. Tooth decay can’t develop twice in the same tooth 

If your tooth has been successfully treated for tooth decay, it doesn’t mean that the cavity can reoccur. Tooth decay can develop on another side of the tooth or even near a dental filling. The key factor is proper oral care. If you brush and floss your teeth properly, maintain a healthy diet, and visit a dentist regularly, your chances to develop tooth decay decrease. 

7. Cavities in baby teeth don’t matter

Many parents don't teach their children how to properly take care of their oral cavities. This can result in the development of many oral issues including gum disease and tooth decay. Moreover, some parents even think that there is no need to treat cavities in baby teeth. However, you should be aware that tooth decay can damage both baby and permanent teeth that are still developing.