Do you think you know a lot about cavities? Try this quiz from Mansfield dentists, Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris to see if we can stump you.
Q1. True or False – Sugar causes cavities.
Q2. True or False -The first sign of a cavity is a toothache.
Q3. True or False – Untreated tooth decay leads to extractions.
Q4. True or False – We are born with the bacteria which causes cavities.
A1. FALSE – Sucrose (AKA sugar) contributes to tooth decay, but the key ingredient in cavity making is Streptococcus mutans, or S. mutans. This insidious strain of oral bacteria mixes with food particles to create a biofilm better known as plaque. You can reduce plaque production in your mouth by avoiding sugar in your diet, because S. mutans feed on sucrose.
A2. FALSE – Mild tooth decay doesn’t always cause obvious symptoms early on. Discomfort or pain generally comes from advanced stages of decay, when the dentin beneath your tooth enamel has been deeply infiltrated by bacteria. Daily brushing and flossing at home can help prevent even mild tooth decay from beginning.
A3. TRUE – You may already have fillings in your mouth from cavities, but if they weren’t caught in time by your dentist, more invasive procedures would become necessary down the road. When infection from tooth decay gets into the roots of teeth, a root canal procedure is necessary to clear out the bacteria and stop the germs from spreading. If the infection goes further than that, Dr. Jones or Dr. Harris might have to pull out the entire tooth.
A4. FALSE – We are born with a clean slate in terms of oral health. S. Mutans are contagious, and we generally are infected with them from our parents or caregivers when we are still babies. Kissing, sharing drinks, and even something as innocent as blowing on food can transmit the germs from one mouth to another. S. mutans are able to survive in a baby’s mouth long before their first teeth even erupt.
About Your Mansfield Dentists
Mansfield Dental Associates provide gentle preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dental care. If you would like to learn more or to schedule a consultation, call (817) 473-6227. Dr. Jones and Dr. Harris proudly treat patients from Mansfield, South Arlington, Kennedale, Southeast Ft. Worth, Alvarado, Midlothian and neighboring areas.