Thursday, April 29, 2010

7 Top Dental Myths Busted!


Myths are an integral aspect of any field. But, when it comes to myths involving health, they can be potentially dangerous. There are lots of myths associated with dental health. I mention the popular ones. Do feel free to add you own in the comments section.
1. Tooth Decay caused by worms
This is age old myth which was accepted by the public due to proposal put forth by medical scholars of that time. This myth is not very popular among the educated world.
Still, there are people who subscribe to this theory. Well, just to clear this up, tooth decay is caused by acid released by caries-causing bacteria.
2. Tooth extraction affects eye sight
This is a very popular myth and many people swear by this. Let me tell there is absolutely no affect on the eyesight by the extraction of any number of teeth. Go to any qualified dentist and he will tell you the same.
3. The more you brush, better your teeth
This concept is gaining momentum in the modern world. It’s not proposed by anyone but just the thinking of many that more brushing should make their teeth whiter and shinier.
On the contrary, overzealous brushing for extended periods of time does more harm than good.  The teeth surface is made of enamel which gets abraded on brushing for extended periods which lead to tooth sensitivity and other complications in the long term. The recommended time period for brushing is 3 minutes twice a day.
4. Medication CURES toothache
Medication might temporarily relief toothache but does not cure toothache. The only way to cure a toothache is to find the cause and treat that. I have been surprised by many home remedies which are promoted as cures for toothache. These can do more harm than good. Got a toothache? Visit the dentist.
5. Eating chocolate causes tooth decay
This is partially true. If you consume chocolate in between meals often and don’t rinse your mouth afterwards, it puts you at a high risk of tooth decay. The important aspect to note here is that the sticky chocolate particles on the tooth surface after consumption acts as food for decay causing bacteria. So, if you consume chocolate and rinse your mouth immediately after, you will be doing great.
6. Tooth extraction is painful
Modern medicine has enabled the dentist to use effective local anesthetics to render least amount of pain to the patients. The local anesthetic injection desensitizes a patient to pain during an extraction so that the tooth can be removed without much discomfort during extraction. Note that there can be some pain in extractions of impacted tooth, tooth with dilacerated roots and other complications. I personally had a mesio-angular impacted tooth which was below the mandibular canal (which basically means a complicated extraction) removed with out any conceivable pain.
7. Using Toothpicks widens gap between teeth
There is no such harm when you use the commercially available toothpicks. Toothpicks can help you remove food particles between teeth. In fact, you might as well floss your teeth than using toothpicks which serves the same purpose but is more effective. Be careful of injury to your gums when you use sharp tooth picks.
These are some popular dental myths. But there are lots others; I might come up with a part 2 of this. Do add dental myths you know in the comments section.

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