Debunking Dental Myths

posted in: General Dentistry | 0


There are misconceptions about several dental treatments. A whole journal can be dedicated to the same. Here’s the truth behind several myths and taboos in dentistry that trigger uneasiness before the dental appointment.

Root Canal Cancer Myth

Root canal treatment becomes necessary when a tooth’s nerve and pulp get infected. The dentist removes the infected tissues, cleans the chamber with the help of a drill, and medication, and fills the pulp chamber with a sealant material.

Advancements in dentistry have made the procedure painless and straightforward compared to what it was a few decades ago.

The myth surrounding this treatment is that the bacteria left in the chamber can multiply and release toxins that can manage to enter the bloodstream via tooth root, further triggering various types of health issues.

The theory originated back in the 1920s when research work released by Dr. Weston A. Price highlighted the same. The concerned scientist recommended tooth extraction as the only option to avoid diseases.

Several studies have already refuted Dr. Price’s claims made a century ago. Advanced drugs and filling material help in maintaining hygiene in the sealed tooth chamber. Plus, anesthesia makes sure the procedure remains painless.

Most recently, the Canadian Cancer Society scientists have proved that there is no link between root canal and cancer. They stressed the point that removing the infected part of the tooth prevents chances of oral diseases as the procedure prevents re-infection.

Fluoride Myths Debunked

It won’t be wrong to suggest that fluoride happens to be from a group of substances that can be helpful in small quantities but harmful in case of high-level exposure.

Multiple countries add fluoride to the drinking water supply due to health benefits. Anti-fluoride activists link its use with heart diseases, congenital disabilities, and even cancer. It also disturbs the genetics of the body, resulting in infections.

Several investigations have been performed to check the impact of water fluoridation and the mineral’s link with cancer. The most recent ones were from the Royal Society of New Zealand in 2014, and the European Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks in 2011. Both studies failed to show any link between cancer and water fluoridation.

The myth about fluoride’s side effects on children’s health at an early age always makes it in the top ten.

As per CDCP-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opting for toothpaste with the recommended percentage of fluoride and drinking fluoride-containing water are the most efficient ways to prevent dental caries in children. However, too much exposure to the mineral must be controlled to avoid side effects.

Fluoride-Free or Anti-Fluoride Toothpaste

The mineral can be found in ocean, river, and lake water as well. Investigations have already proven that drinking water containing fluoride or using fluoride toothpaste can immensely benefit an individual’s oral health. The mineral can strengthen the enamel.

However, these days, several companies claim to sell ‘natural’ products. Such firms sell fluoride-free toothpaste claiming they are much more beneficial for oral health. Scientists suggest this is nothing more than a myth, or a marketing trick.

University of California’s therapeutic dentistry professor and researcher Edmond Hewlett interacted with journalists and shared his concerns about the myth. He pointed out that as far as cavity prevention was concerned, fluoride has already proven its ability as a natural cavity fighter. Toothpaste makers use the mineral in the FDA-approved quantity.

Experiments have proved that children living in areas where authorities use fluoride to treat water in the public water system are less prone to tooth decay.

Baking Soda Teeth Whitening Dangers

Disconnect among researchers is quite visible when it comes to the research work regarding the positive and negative effects of using baking soda (sodium carbonate) for teeth whitening.

There’re two sets of studies. The first group suggests baking soda can erode, abrade the teeth and make them thinner. Besides damaging the braces by softening its glue, soda ruins the enamel coat of the tooth if used continuously. Some researchers also believe it hurts the mouth’s good and bad bacteria ratio resulting in a build-up of plaque.

On the other hand, scientists who support the use of soda suggest the chemical compound present in sodium bicarbonate acts as a mild abrasive and helps in removing stains naturally. Some dentists recommend it for the removal of stains caused due to red wine, tea, coffee, and foodstuff. However, both groups agree that it cannot remove deep stains.

Can Baby Tooth Decay be Ignored?

Remember, after reaching the root of the infected baby tooth, the bacteria can enter the blood vessels and trigger an infection in kids as well. Thus, maintaining oral health and keeping the gums abscesses-free remains crucial. Therefore, offering primary dental health education is essential to ensure kids brush twice a day and maintain oral hygiene.

Is It Worth Opting for the Dentist Recommended Toothpaste?

Amongst the top five dental myths and misconceptions, is the one claiming dentists make a commission on every recommendation.

Today, there are several kinds of toothpaste with various formulas that are available on the market. Choosing the best option for treating decay, tartar, bad breath, and tooth sensitivity can be confusing. Thus, dentists suggest toothpaste according to the dental health issues that the patient faces.

You can ignore those men and women in a white coats appearing in oral healthcare product recommendation advertisements. The advertising standards authorities often deal with them in the harshest manner possible. However, professionals in the dental care office are bound to follow several rules and regulations while recommending products. You can surely trust them.

Wisdom Teeth Myth

Some of the common dental myths are regarding the number of wisdom teeth, the necessity to extract them, the need to visit a specialist for extraction of such teeth, and if they can cause overlapping or crowding.

A person can be born with one, two, three, or max four wisdom teeth. However, everyone may not have all four of them.

If the wisdom teeth are straight, emerged without a problem, and are not putting pressure on the jaw as well as nearby teeth, there is no need to extract them. A wisdom tooth does not necessarily cause overlapping of other teeth.

The extraction can be performed by a general dentist or trained oral surgeons specializing in Maxillofacial surgery due to the complexity involved in the procedure.

Lastly, wisdom teeth usually show up when the individual is between 15 and 25 years of age, not necessarily during the late teens.

For any dental concerns, you can always book an appointment at TruCare Dentistry.