Not everything you know about cavities is true. In fact, most of what people know about this dental problem are far from what the dentists would tell you. It's important that you're able to distinguish reality from myth so you're not falsely guided when it comes to this serious dental ailment.
Myth # 1 - Sugar is the only cause of cavities (wrong)
While it's true that sugar is a primary cavity culprit, it's not the only cause. It's also not the ultimate root. Here's how it happens: there are bacteria inside your mouth and these bacteria produce acid that eats up the tooth and causes cavities. They are a lot more active in acid production whenever they feed on carbohydrates. Sugar is only one form of carbs. Other carbs are rice, bread, potatoes, and so on. Eating anything with carbs activates the bacteria to produce acid. And once there is a hole inside your tooth that a toothbrush or floss cannot reach, the bacteria would go on to metabolize the carbs, produce acid, and make the cavity bigger and bigger. So, aside from watching out with the sugar that you eat, you should also watch out for other forms of carbs.
Myth # 2 - The more carbs you eat, the higher risk of cavities (wrong)
Another misconception is that the amount of carbohydrates is directly proportional to the risk of cavity. The truth is, it's actually the length of exposure that plays a role in this. Eating a lot of carbs for lunch for example will give you one big exposure. But drinking sugary drinks like soda the whole day gives you longer exposure that gives higher risk for developing cavities.
Myth # 3 - Kids are more prone to cavities than adults (wrong)
Tooth decay has been cut by half among children in the last two decades thanks to fluoridated water and increased efforts in preventive dental care. Not the same thing can be said for adults, particularly for the elderly. Cavities have increased significantly among the older citizens. Some of the medications they take in today cause dry mouth. Saliva, which is essential in neutralizing acids and washing away bacteria, has been reduced by some medications used for treating common illnesses among senior citizens. Because of this, adults should be more vigilant about tooth decay, as this is something that you can't consider a "kid problem" anymore.
Myth # 4 - Placing aspirin next to a tooth will relieve pain (wrong)
Some people still do this. They put aspirin next to the painful tooth hoping that it will reduce the pain. What it actually does is that it burns the gum tissue and causes an abscess since it's acidic. If you want pain relief, swallow the aspirin so it can do its job effectively.
Myth # 5 - It's easy to know if you have cavity (wrong)
Everyone should be aware that cavity, especially in its early stage, doesn't cause any symptom. You may have cavity and not know it. If you experience pain due to a cavity, that means it's already in its more advanced stage that can even harm the nerve. This is why, it's very important that you go to the dentist for a regular checkup, at least twice a year. This will save you not only from the pain but also from the expensive dental procedures.