ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- More than 90% of adults in the U.S. have cavities in their mouths. A cavity happens when a tooth decays or breaks down. While cavities are extremely common, there are a lot of misconceptions about them.   

Studies show virtually all Americans will experience tooth decay at some point in their lives, and the numbers are increasing.   

Linda Niessen, DMD, MPH, dean and professor at Nova Southeastern University says, “We saw it increasing in adults age 21 to 64 and we saw it in adults over age 65.”

But how much do people know about cavities?

Niessen continued, “Dental research is showing us that, in fact, some people are much more prone to tooth decay or dental cavities than others.”

One common myth: only sugar causes cavities. The fact is anything that makes the mouth more acidic can lead to cavities. Starches like bread or pasta can stimulate bacteria on teeth and produce enamel-attacking acids.

Another myth: cavities can always be felt. Some cavities don’t cause any symptoms, so it’s important to see your dentist for regular checkups.

Myth number three: kids can’t get cavities in their baby teeth. The truth is any enamel can decay.

Many people believe fillings will last forever, but most only last for seven to ten years.

The last myth: people can’t get cavities on filled teeth. Unfortunately, fillings wear down and the tooth can still decay around the edges. The good news is, the better you care for your teeth, the less likely you are to have cavities.

A team of researchers at OHSU School of Dentistry has recently developed a new type of filling that uses a protective additive which could last twice as long. The compound used is the same used to strengthen car bumpers and wood decks.

Contributors to this news report include: Julie Marks, Field Producer; Roque Correa, Editor.