Myths and Facts in Dentistry

Myth – Removal of upper teeth affects vision.
Fact – Vision is not affected in any way by undertaking treatment of the upper teeth including its extraction.

Myth – One set of dentures will last a lifetime
Fact – Tissues beneath the dentures change over a period of time. Hence dentures need to be modified accordingly and hence cannot be assumed to last a lifetime without any modifications.

Myth – Scaling/removal of tartar loosens the teeth
Fact – Teeth are held in position by the bone. Tartar can sometimes bind the teeth together. Tartar causes inflammation of the gums and hence need to be removed. After removal of this tartar there may be slight mobility of the teeth, however this is necessary to ensure recovery of the health of the supporting structures.

Myth – Dental Procedures are always painful
Fact – Most dental procedures are nowadays done under local anesthesia and hence are painless.

Myth – Dental treatment cannot be done during pregnancy.
Fact – Dental treatment can only be done during the second trimester of pregnancy (4-6 months). During the first 3 or last 3 months of pregnancy only emergency dental procedures to provide pain relief can be carried out.

Myth – Cleaning of teeth is better with a finger than a toothbrush.
Fact – Toothbrushes can remove plaque and calculus from almost all the teeth and its surfaces and are much more effective compared to cleaning with a finger.

Myth – An infant doesn’t need cleaning of teeth
Fact – As soon as the teeth start erupting they require regular cleaning to prevent dental decay.

Myth – Milk teeth decay need not be treated as they are going to fall off anyways.
Fact – Milk teeth need to be cared as much. They could cause pain if decayed and also lead to difficulty in chewing food. Hence they should be treated. Also if there is an early loss of a milk tooth it could cause drifting and malalignment of the erupting permanent teeth.

Myth – When the gums bleed, better not to brush the teeth.
Fact – Bleeding is a sign of inflammation of the gums. Bleeding gums usually have plaque and tartar and require scaling (cleaning of teeth) to treat the underlying inflammation. Stopping brushing will accumulate more tartar thereby aggravating the problem. Hence cleaning followed by regular brushing with a soft toothbrush is recommended.

Myth – Toothache can be relieved by placing an aspirin tablet inside the tooth.
Fact – Aspirin tablet can cause burning of the soft tissues around the tooth. If placed inside the tooth, will not have any effect on the toothache. However if the tablet is swallowed can provide some relief. However the cause of the toothache should be investigated and treated.

Myth – Root canal treatment is very painful.
Fact – Nowadays with better anesthetic techniques, root canal treatment is almost become painless.

Myth – Root canal treatments require lot of visits to the dentist.
Fact – With newer techniques, single sitting root canal treatments are gaining rapid popularity.

Myth – Root canal treated teeth do not require crowns.
Fact – After the root canal treatment, the tooth may become brittle, hence it is necessary to crown such teeth. Also it ensures the fillings done after the root canal is complete do not get dislodged.

Myth – Even after doing a root canal, tooth will eventually come out.
Fact – After doing a proper root canal and maintaining proper oral hygiene the tooth can last you a lifetime.

Myth – If the tooth is not painful, there is no need for a root canal treatment.
Fact – Sometimes after the acute phase is over, the decayed tooth may not be painful. However if the infection is reached the tooth pulp/nerve then a root canal treatment is mandatory irrespective of whether the tooth is painful or not.

Myth – Expensive toothpastes are always better than cheaper ones.
Fact – Cost of a toothpaste is not related to its effectiveness.

Myth – A sugarless chewing gum along with xylitol after a meal can be a substitute to brushing.
Fact – There cannot be a substitute to mechanical cleaning of teeth with brushing.

Myth – If the tooth is white in color it is healthy.
Fact – A tooth can look healthy and white and still have many cavities and decayed areas, problems with the root that would require dental treatment.

Myth – Good dental health can be inherited.
Fact – Inheritance plays a minor role. Proper brushing is mandatory for good oral health.

Myth – It is better to remove the wisdom tooth because they usually cause problems.
Fact – Wisdom teeth need not be removed till they cause dental problems and become symptomatic.