7 Myths of Dental Caries

Posted October 15, 2022 by Anusha ‐ 2 min read

Dental caries is a common chronic infectious resulting from tooth-adherent cariogenic bacteria, primarily Streptococcus Mutans, which metabolize sugars to produce acid, demineralizing the tooth structure over time. This activity describes the evaluation and management of dental caries and highlights the role of the interprofessional team in evaluating and treating patients with dental caries.

Myth 1: Sugar Causes Cavities

  • While sugar does contribute to the formation of cavities, it’s not the sugar itself that causes the problem.

  • Rather, it’s the bacteria that eats the sugar.

  • Sticky food, like starches, attracts bacteria to thrive on and around teeth.

  • These bacteria produce an acid compound that promotes tooth decay.

  • Rinse and brush after meals to reduce acid and plaque buildup.

Myth 2: Bleeding Gums Are Normal

  • Bleeding gums during brushing or flossing is due to inflammation of the gums.

  • Gums can become inflamed and begin to bleed due to excessive plaque buildup, the onset of gingivitis, gum disease or other causes.

  • It’s not normal.

  • You’ll want to contact your dentist for an exam.

Myth 3: Brushing Harder Cleans Better

  • Brushing harder is counterproductive.

  • The harder you brush, the more trauma the tooth enamel and gum tissue endure.

  • It can eventually lead to other problems such as gum recession.

  • Brush gently for two minutes, twice daily with a soft-bristled brush.

Myth 4: Flossing Is Not Really Necessary

  • Flossing is an integral part of maintaining good oral health.

  • One in five Americans never flosses, and only 40% of those who do floss daily.

  • Flossing removes up to 80% of plaque.

  • Plaque deposits promote tooth decay, but you can remove them with a daily flossing regimen.

Myth 5: Chewing Gum Works Like Brushing

  • Chewing gum is not a replacement for brushing your teeth.

  • Some chewing gums can promote cleaner teeth and better breath, and some dentists even recommend the sugar-free varieties to chew on instead of candy.

  • However, while some chewing gums serve as aids to oral health, they still don’t reach the level of being able to replace brushing your teeth.

Myth 6: White Teeth Are Healthy Teeth

  • Whiter teeth are not always healthier teeth.

  • Teeth begin white, and over time, they can become discolored through staining or damage.

  • Whitening teeth may leave the underlying cause of discoloration unaddressed.

  • If your teeth are losing their luster, speak to your dentist about why.

Myth 7: Charcoal Toothpaste Is Better

  • Charcoal toothpaste is marketed for whitening but in reality, it offers little protection for teeth.

  • Charcoal toothpaste actually works against teeth by absorbing protective agents meant to keep teeth healthy and strong.

myths facts caries cavities dental-caries

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