4 Facts About Tooth Decay You Probably Didn’t Know

Also referred to as dental caries, or cavities, tooth decay occurs when harmful bacteria crowd the mouth and attack the enamel. These bacteria produce acids that corrode the tooth’s surface and gradually erode each layer, starting from the outermost enamel. 

As per the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, early stages of tooth decay seldom accompany any noticeable symptoms. When the process advances, signs appear in the form of brown spots, infection, pus pockets, etc. 

Tooth decay can be painful and often follows costly repair work. The interesting part is that a lot of people do not know many common aspects of this condition. In this article, we will talk about four facts about tooth decay that are usually less known, despite being common. 

Candy Alone Does Not Cause Tooth Decay 

Dental caries are often associated with sugar, hence its connection with candy. If you were convinced that the enamel can erode simply due to too much sweetness, nothing could be further from the truth. 

Does sugar cause tooth decay? Absolutely! However, there are other common yet less-known causes. These could range from the consumption of acidic foods, chewing on ice cubes, and frequent biting of nails to regular use of certain medicines. Let’s pick out one for example purposes. 

The medicine, Suboxone, which is widely used across the US to treat opioid use disorder has been recently slammed for tooth decay. As per TorHoerman Law, patients have developed injuries in the form of infection, severe tooth decay, etc. 

It is believed that the medication’s manufacturer, Invidior, was aware of the risks involved but chose to conceal them to maintain profits. Injured patients have sought legal help by filing a Suboxone tooth decay lawsuit

Other over-the-counter drugs like anti-depressants can also cause tooth decay. In a nutshell, candy alone does not lead to dental caries or cavities. 

Brushing (Even Twice a Day) Does Little Good 

Have you been raised to brush your teeth thoroughly every morning and evening? Well, we would not say that such a practice is wrong by any means. However, brushing twice (or even thrice) a day alone does not guarantee safety against tooth decay. 

Though an essential practice for maintaining oral health, it will not keep harmful bacteria at bay. That will require the accompaniment of flossing. It is shocking to know that many Americans still do not consider flossing to be a regular part of their oral hygiene. 

The American Dental Association states that thorough flossing is so effective that it does not matter when you do it as long as you do it. Brushing regularly may help to get rid of sugar, acid, and bacteria found between the teeth. It is only flossing that gets to the challenging nooks and crannies that a toothbrush fails to reach. 

Permanent Retainers Do More Harm Than Good 

A permanent retainer, also known as bonded or fixed retainer, is generally prescribed to rebuild the bone after teeth have been extracted. It may also be used after an active orthodontic treatment is over. 

The word ‘permanent’ implies that the retainer is fixed or glued to the back of the teeth. This option may be fine for those who tend to forget to remove their temporary retainers. However, bonded retainers also need to be replaced once worn out. 

When fitted well and maintained properly, fixed retainers should not be a cause of concern. The truth is this is usually a great risk or gamble. It is often challenging to get all the food particles and debris out from between the retainer. 

If it is not cleaned thoroughly, poor hygiene will lead to tooth decay over time. The bacteria are even capable of traveling to other parts of the body, thereby increasing the risk of heart disease. The key is to clean and maintain the retainer well or opt for temporary ones instead of bonded variants. 

The Human Body Tries Its Best to Fight Tooth Decay 

It makes no odds as to what we have been led to believe. The truth remains that the human body always functions in the direction of health. It is designed to strive and survive under the most dire physical circumstances. 

In line with that, the body strives to prevent cavities and enamel damage even during the early stages. This means any minor issues will be immediately repaired through a process called remineralization. The saliva has minerals in the form of calcium and phosphate which can even repair minuscule lesions in the mouth. 

Remember that only early stages of tooth decay are kept under control through remineralization. The damage becomes apparent when it is extensive. This means if you do your due diligence to brush and floss regularly, there is no rea⁸son why tooth decay must catch you off-guard. 

In summation, awareness regarding tooth decay and its effects is of paramount importance. If the signs are tackled early on, a full-blown gum disease can be avoided. This condition can affect an individual at any age, even children. The World Health Organization (WHO) reveals that 2.5 billion people worldwide live with untreated tooth decay. 

In any case, cavities must not be neglected as they’re simply the precursor to periodontal disease, bone erosion, and tooth loss. Individuals of all ages must practice solid oral hygiene if they wish to preserve their permanent teeth for a long time.


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