Tooth decay and cavities are common problems that can lead to serious dental issues. Tooth decay, often known as dental caries, is an oral health condition that destroys the hard tissues of your tooth.
In this article, we'll discuss the causes of tooth decay and cavities, how to remove tooth decay yourself, and prevention methods to help keep you smiling brightly!
What causes tooth decay?
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria found in dental plaque, which produces acids that break down the hard tissues, like enamel, in your teeth. Over time, this causes cavities, and those cavities can lead to multiple other health issues.
Fortunately, if caught in time, prevention of tooth decay and early cavity reversal can be achieved with the proper preventative measures and treatment.
Is it possible to reverse tooth decay?
Can cavities go away? One of the early warning signs you should look for to spot early tooth decay is the formation of a white spot on the teeth. This can happen when the tooth enamel is exposed to acid attacks and starts losing its minerals. This white spot, over time, will form a cavity that will need to be filled by your dental practitioner.
Don't freak out if you are looking at your teeth now and see one. While this might seem scary, it is actually a great thing that you have caught it so early, as this means it is possible to prevent further damage or even reverse the damage!
Your dentist may suggest brushing with fluoride toothpaste, reducing your intake of sugary and acidic foods to start with, and having your teeth professionally cleaned. A sealant may also be an option before cavities begin to form, where thin coatings are painted onto the tops of the teeth to prevent bacteria from getting stuck in there (the back molars are the most common for cavities)
Can you reverse tooth decay naturally?
If you catch the damage to your teeth early enough, it may be possible to reverse cavities naturally. This will mainly come via improving your at-home dental hygiene routine, frequency of brushing, diet, and incorporating prescription strength fluoride rinses or toothpastes
Diet will also help prevent acid attacks on your teeth and improve your mineral intake to build strong and healthy enamel. Eating a balanced diet filled with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and quality sources of calcium is one of the most well-researched ways on how to prevent tooth decay from forming and progressing.
Removing sugar is also necessary, as it feeds the bacteria that cause tooth decay while increasing the level of acid that demineralizes teeth.
What foods can reverse tooth decay?
Can vitamin D reverse tooth decay? Some evidence does suggest that it is possible to reverse it with diet! This needs to be done very early on in the decay process. For a healthy tooth diet, try eating mainly:
Bone broth, eggs, meat, fish, and good-quality dairy
Leafy green vegetables
Vitamin D - for this, you will need plenty of sunshine!
Healthy fats like avocado and coconut oil.
No processed or packaged food or foods high in sugar.
Probiotic foods for beneficial mouth bacteria.
Avoid foods high in phytic acid, which can prevent mineral absorption of essential nutrients from your food.
How long does it take to reverse tooth decay?
How to heal cavities depends on how hardcore you follow the intervention process and how far along the decay was to begin with, but it can be as little as a few weeks before you notice a difference.
When is it too late to reverse tooth decay?
When the acid from the forming cavity gets through to the dentin layer of the teeth, then it is no longer reversible. Tooth decay treatment may involve dental fillings, tooth extractions, or root canal therapy. Remember, the sooner you take action, the less damage will be done to your teeth.
It is never too late to change your dental habits to give your mouth the best possible chance to flash a great smile. For more information about how to protect your chompers, check out these tips!