Health Watch: 5 Myths About Cavities

ORLANDO, Fla. (KFSN) -- More than 90 percent of adults in the U.S. have cavities in their mouth. A cavity happens when a tooth decays or breaks down. While they are extremely common, there are a lot of misconceptions about cavities. Ivanhoe separates fact from fiction.

It's a sound that way too many people know too well. Studies show virtually all Americans will experience tooth decay at some point in their lives, and the numbers are increasing.

Linda Niessen, DMD, MPH, Dean and Professor, Nova Southeastern University says, "We saw it increasing in adults age 21 to 64 and we saw it in adults over age 65."

But how much do you know about cavities?

Dr. Niessen continued, "Dental research is showing us that in fact some people are much more prone to tooth decay or dental cavities than others."

One common myth: only sugar causes cavities. The fact is anything that makes your mouth more acidic can lead to cavities. Starches like bread or pasta can stimulate bacteria on teeth and produce enamel-attacking acids. Another myth: you'll always feel a cavity. Some cavities don't cause any symptoms, so it's important to see your dentist for regular checkups. Myth number three: kids can't get cavities in their baby teeth. The truth is any enamel can decay. Many people believe fillings will last forever, but most only last for seven to ten years. Our last myth: you can't get a cavity on a filled tooth. Unfortunately, fillings wear down and the tooth can still decay around the edges. The good news is, the better you care for your teeth, the less likely you are to have cavities.

A team of researchers at OHSU School of Dentistry has recently developed a new type of filling that uses a protective additive which could last twice as long. The compound used is the same used to make car bumpers and wood decks strong!
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