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Tooth myths debunked

Everyone experiences occasional sensitivity in their teeth and gums. Most people will get a cavity or two in their lifetime.  Here a few of the more common misconceptions floating around on both.

1. Sugar causes cavities
Yes and no. Cavities are created by acid produced by bacteria that live in your mouth. Carbohydrates provide food to these bacteria and acid is produced after the bacteria eat the carbohydrates.  Sugar is one of the most common carbohydrates, and so, yes, sugar is a cause of mouth acid, but so do some other carbohydrates.  So if you know you are going to have a carb-heavy day, be sure to brush extra diligently in the morning to remove the acid producing bacteria from your teeth.

2. Kids get more cavities than adults
That used to be the case, but thanks to fluoride in tap water, tooth decay in school-aged children is actually way down. In fact, we’re seeing more cavities in seniors than any other age group because of dry mouth associated with many medications.  Saliva is a natural tooth protector; it washes away bacteria that cause plaque and tartar build-up.

3. Rubbing aspirin on an aching tooth can relieve the pain
This is ineffective for two reasons. Firstly, for aspirin to work its magic, you have to swallow it. Secondly, and more importantly, aspirin is acidic and can burn your gum tissue if you place it next to your  tooth.

4. You can feel a cavity
Yes, you may experience discomfort if you have an advanced cavity. But in the early stages, you won’t feel a thing. All the more reason to get regular check-ups.  Your dentist will easily see what you didn’t even know was there and can treat it before it becomes a problem.

5. A problem tooth will always be a problem tooth
Not true at all, which is another reason to get checked regularly. Once a cavity is filled and the decay is removed, you should have no problems from there on out ¾ as long as you take care of your teeth.