8 Facts About Tooth Decay You Should Be Aware Of

Tooth decay is a common condition that affects many people all over the world. It occurs when tooth enamel gets a cavity. Unfortunately, many people still believe in certain myths and misconceptions about cavities. That's why we have gathered eight facts about tooth decay you should be aware of.


1. Cavities can affect everyone

Some people believe that only children and people who have a sweet tooth can develop cavities. But the reality is that tooth decay is an extremely common condition that can affect both children and adults. It is second only to the common cold. 


2. Poor oral hygiene is the main cause of tooth decay

Poor oral hygiene is deemed one of the most common causes of many oral issues including tooth decay. If you don't brush and floss your teeth properly it leads to the bacteria overgrowth. During their vital activity, these bacteria release acids that soften and remove your tooth enamel. This leads to the development of a cavity. So if you want to prevent tooth decay, you need to brush your teeth twice a day and use dental floss daily.


3. Cavities don't always cause severe toothache

Many people believe that tooth decay always manifests itself through severe pain. But the reality is that a cavity can develop asymptomatically for a long period of time until it reaches the inner sensitive layer of the tooth. This layer is called the pulp and it contains blood vessels and nerve endings. When they become damaged you may start experiencing a toothache.


4. A cavity should be treated by a dentist

There is a common misconception that tooth decay can be treated at home or even may disappear on its own. However, only a dentist can remove the damaged tissues of the decayed tooth and seal a cavity. You should also understand that a cavity can't disappear without timely and proper treatment. On the contrary, a cavity can reach the roots of the tooth and you may need to undergo a root canal procedure to save the tooth.


5. Teeth whitening doesn't increase your risk of developing tooth decay

If you want to bleach your teeth but still believe that a teeth whitening procedure can destroy your tooth enamel and increase your risk of tooth decay, it's high time to change your mind. Indeed, you may experience mild teeth sensitivity during the next few days after the procedure. But the reality is that modern techniques used during teeth whitening don't damage your tooth enamel.


6. Dark spots on your teeth don't mean cavities

Some people think that dark spots that occur in their teeth are cavities. Even though dark brown or gray spots on tooth enamel can be a sign of tooth decay, there are a lot of other factors that can lead to stains. For example, the increased consumption of coffee, sweet soda, dark berries, and other foods that contain pigments and acids can lead to the development of dark stains on your teeth.


7. Sweets can't cause tooth decay

Another common misconception is that sugar causes tooth decay. It is important to understand that sugar doesn't eat away your tooth enamel and doesn't cause tooth decay. But it can increase your risk of getting cavities since it creates a perfect environment for the bacteria that live in your mouth and produce acids. 


8. Some home remedies can help ease the pain caused by tooth decay

As mentioned above, only a dentist can treat tooth decay properly. But there are some situations when you can't visit a dental clinic right now. In this case, you may use some home remedies and pain medication to relieve your toothache. You should understand that using painkillers is not a treatment but it can help you feel better before the dental appointment.