Cavities are a common dental problem, but rumors and misinformation circulate and often lead to unhealthy oral care practices. In fact, many common myths can do more harm than good, leading to further tooth decay and the need for more extensive treatments. Uncovering the myths and misleading “facts” surrounding cavity prevention and care empowers people to start making informed decisions about their dental health. By the end of this post, you’ll have a better understanding of what works and what doesn’t, giving you the tools to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
“Sugar is always the culprit.”
For many people, the most familiar words of advice in preventing cavities is to cut back on consuming soda, candy, and other sweets packed with sugar. Sugar does not cause cavities – rather, acid generated by bacteria in the mouth erodes the enamel and causes dental caries. Excess sugar consumption can promote the growth of bacteria, leading to an increase in acidity and damage to the enamel, but sugar itself can not directly create a cavity.
While sugar is a significant trigger, it’s actually far from the only contributor to cavities. Foods and beverages high in carbohydrates like breads, crackers, pasta, etc. all contribute to cavities, yet are often overlooked when discussing prevention strategies.
“Snacking more helps prevent cavities.”
This is an example of misleading information that originates from fact. Saliva plays a big role in preventing cavities. It neutralizes acids in the mouth to help protect tooth enamel from acidic residue. If tooth enamel has already been damaged, saliva can repair the tooth’s protective surface through a process called remineralization. A dry mouth and lack of saliva production makes your teeth more susceptible to cavities. Because chewing stimulates the production of saliva, the mistaken idea that eating several snacks throughout the day can protect your teeth was formed.
The choice of foods you eat is far more impactful than how often you eat. While additional saliva production can benefit oral health, the benefits do not outweigh the bacterial activity from eating starchy and sugary foods. The best practices to prevent cavities are eating a balanced diet, drinking lots of water, brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and rinsing with a cavity-fighting mouthwash.
“You can reverse cavities”
The truth of this statement depends on the stage of the cavity. There is no magic formula to reverse a cavity. Home remedies and step-by-step tutorials only lead to frustration, and may do more harm than good. The only true way to get rid of a cavity is through proper dental care with the help of a dentist.
There are a few cavity treatment methods- the most common being a dental filling. In this method, the dentist removes the decayed tissue and fills the space with a material to prevent further damage, reduce pain and tooth sensitivity, and avoid infection. When there is extensive decay or a weakened tooth, a dentist can also implement dental crowns. A crown is custom-fit to cover the tooth’s entire natural crown and the decayed area that has been drilled down. If decay reaches the inner material of the tooth, a dentist may choose a root canal. A root canal is a treatment to repair a badly damaged or infected tooth as a last resort before extraction.
Professional cavity treatment is critical for long-lasting oral hygiene. A study by the American Dental Association found based on a weighted sample representative of 193.5 million U.S. adults that 21.3% of cavities go untreated. An untreated cavity can lead to tooth pain, tooth sensitivity, and infection, at the very least. Eventually, untreated cavities can lead to abscess under the gums, and even tooth loss.
To make decisions regarding cavity prevention and treatment, it’s important to understand what a dental cavity actually is. Cavities are areas in the hard surface of surface of your teeth that have been permanently damaged and develop into tiny openings or holes. Cavities tend to grow and deepen and it’s important to get treatment in order to stop the decay progression. As the decay gets larger, some may experience symptoms including toothache, tooth sensitivity, mild to sharp pain when eating or drinking something sweet or with extreme temperatures, visible holes or pits in the tooth, staining on any surface of the tooth, and pain when biting down.
The most effective defense and offense against tooth decay is prevention. Once decay has progressed through the enamel into the softer, inner part of the tooth, it can not be reversed. Consistent practice of good oral hygiene is most productive when used with quality products backed by science.
Nano silver is a new technology revolutionizing the world of oral care. Elementa’s Nano Silver Mouth Rinse, Kids Mouth Rinse, and Tooth Gel improve oral hygiene, prevent cavities and gum disease, and are overall more effective at penetrating the biofilm than alcohol. This line of Nano Silver products utilize plant-based nanotechnology to immediately neutralize all oral acid in the mouth, while killing acid-causing bacteria 46,000 times better than alcohol-based competitors. It’s also a suitable fluoride treatment replacement as it remineralizes teeth twice as fast, kills bad-breath causing bacteria, whitens teeth, and provides dry mouth relief.
Why A Healthy Mouth Is Neutralized
Maintaining a neutral pH in the mouth is an important part of oral health. When the mouth is too acidic, it can lead to dental caries, gingivitis, and a host of other oral health issues. Saliva helps to neutralize the pH of the mouth, but it can be overwhelmed by certain foods and drinks, such as those containing sugar or citric acid. A neutral pH level helps to prevent these problems and keeps the mouth healthy. Neutralizing the mouth can be accomplished by brushing and flossing regularly to remove food particles and bacteria, as well as drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Proper oral hygiene habits can help to prevent acid buildup and maintain a healthy balance.
Dental plaque is a sticky film of germs and bacteria that constantly coats your teeth and prevents remineralizing ingredients, like calcium, from being absorbed and the process of neutralization. Elementa’s plant based Nano Silver is antibacterial, non-burning, and non-toxic. The technology allows it to actually open holes in the plaque to neutralize oral acid and deliver essential nutrients directly to the healthy tooth’s surface.
In conclusion, cavities are caused by acidic bacteria in the mouth, not sugar itself. To prevent cavities, it is important to maintain a neutral pH in the mouth by brushing your teeth twice a day and using a fluoride-based mouthwash. Additionally, limit sugary snacks and drinks and maintain a healthy diet for overall oral health. With these simple steps, you can keep your teeth healthy and avoid cavities.