Dental cavities on teeth are a common issue for people of all ages. In fact, around 90% of the human population will have a cavity at some point in their lives!

Despite the frequency of this dental issue, misinformation runs rampant. Incorrect information impacts the prevention and treatment of tooth decay and cavities, leading to more extensive dental issues. That’s why we’re debunking the most common myths regarding dental cavities.

There’s lots of misinformation surrounding dental cavities. Knowing how to spot them –– and combat them with facts –– is the best way to care for your smile. Read on to learn the truth about dental cavities and what you can do to prevent them.

Myth #1: You’ll be able to catch a dental cavity in the early stages.

As much as we wish this myth were true, it’s simply not. In reality, the beginning stages of tooth decay and dental cavities may cause no symptoms at all. You may not notice that anything is wrong until the tooth decay turns into an infection that reaches all the way into the pulp of the tooth, finally causing pain and requiring more than a simple filling to fix.

Your best chance of catching a dental cavity in the early stages is by keeping up with your regular cleanings and exams with your general dentist every six months. Your dentist will closely examine your teeth and gums for any sign of decay and make recommendations.

Myth #2: Tooth sensitivity means you have a dental cavity.

There are many reasons why your teeth may be sensitive, including gum recession, the use of tooth-whitening products, or rough brushing habits. Dental cavities may be a cause of sensitivity, but only your dentist will be able to make this distinction.

If you’re experiencing new tooth sensitivity, it’s worth a visit to your dentist to get to the cause. Your dentist will determine if a cavity is to blame or if simply brushing your teeth with a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth will help.

Myth #3: Dental cavities in baby teeth don’t need to be treated.

Even though a child’s tooth will fall out eventually, a baby tooth with a dental cavity still needs treatment. Not only will ignoring a cavity damage the structure of your child’s mouth, but they will be in pain until the tooth falls out.

Here are a few ways you can prevent the formation of cavities in your infant’s mouth:

  • Avoid putting your baby to sleep with their bottle.
  • Never give your baby anything to drink besides water, formula, or breastmilk.
  • Encourage your infant or young toddler to drink from a regular cup rather than a bottle.
  • Brush your infant’s teeth and gums at least twice a day.

Like adults, it’s important for your infant or toddler to visit a pediatric dentist regularly.

Myth #4: Root canals are always performed because of dental cavities.

Dental cavities can require root canal therapy, but not all the time. Root canal treatment is needed when the roots of a tooth become damaged. Dental cavities can absolutely be the cause of this damage, but it can also be caused by trauma to the tooth or bruxism, which refers to nighttime clenching and grinding of the teeth.

If the thought of a root canal makes you squirm, understand that root canal therapy has come a long way over the years. Here at Endodontic Specialists of Colorado, we use the latest techniques and advanced therapies to make treatment pain-free and comfortable.

Now that we’ve debunked myths regarding dental cavities, it’s important to understand that prevention is the best way to care for your teeth. Healthy dental hygiene habits like brushing and flossing twice daily will go a long way in preventing dental cavities. Be sure to see your general dentist every six months for dental exams and cleanings as well.

Even with the best prevention methods, dental cavities and injuries still happen. When they do, our team of specialized doctors is here to restore your smile and relieve your pain. Contact us today to schedule an evaluation and learn how we can help!