Did you know that 90% of the population will have a cavity at some point in their lifetime? While tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems, most patients dread hearing the word “cavity” when visiting the dentist. Even if you’ve experienced a cavity, however, you may still not fully understand the cause of cavities or how they are detected and treated. To clear things up, here are some common myths regarding cavities.
Myth #1 – You’ll be able to catch a dental cavity in the early stages.
Unfortunately, an early cavity rarely produces noticeable symptoms and may only be detected by a dental x-ray. Once the cavity produces symptoms of sensitivity or pain, it has typically progressed to the point of infecting the tooth center (pulp).
Myth #2 – A sensitive tooth means there is a cavity.
Not necessarily. There are many reasons why a tooth may become sensitive to hot/cold temperatures and biting pressure, including gum recession, the use of tooth-whitening products, aggressive brushing habits and enamel erosion. Dental cavities may still be the cause of your tooth sensitivity, but only a dentist can make an accurate distinction.
Myth #3 – Dental cavities in baby teeth don’t need to be treated.
This is a common misconception, but one that needs to be understood. Baby teeth matter. When primary teeth become decayed, it can cause pain that can greatly disrupt your child’s development. Did you know that untreated cavities are the leading cause of missed school days in the United States? In addition, when baby teeth are neglected and fall out prematurely, it can affect the way the permanent teeth erupt.
Myth #4 – Fillings are the only way to repair a cavity.
Depending on the location and severity of the cavity, there are a number of treatments that can be used to restore the tooth. Fillings are used for small cavities while an inlay or onlay can be used on the back molars when a filling is insufficient. If the cavity has caused damage to the inner structure of a tooth, a root canal and dental crown can be needed.
Still have questions about cavities? This is an important dental concern to understand, especially in terms of knowing how to prevent them. Beyond diligent brushing and flossing and attending your routine dental checkups, cavities can also be avoided by limiting sticky snacks and sugary beverages. Call Smiles by Seese today to learn about our advanced methods for cavity detection and treatment in Davidson.