Cavities are a painful condition that usually requires a trip to a Baker Street Dentist, if you live in Marylebone, England. However, there are some ways that you can prevent and heal cavities naturally.
Traditional Dentistry And Its Consequences
Traditional dentistry advocates for drilling the tooth and filling it with an artificial sealant. And while this may be effective for severe cavities, drilling also puts your teeth at risk of bacterial infection by exposing the sensitive pulp of the inner tooth to microorganisms.
The sealant that is used as a part of traditional dentistry can also have unforeseen consequences for the mechanics of your bite and the microbiome of your mouth. Different sealants wear down at different rates causing an imbalance in your bite which you may overcorrect by wearing down the natural enamel on your other teeth. Sealants also do not always completely seal the infected tooth and can leak into the mouth and upset the delicate balance of bacteria inside, leaving you at risk of other infections.
What Are The Main Causes Of Cavities?
Cavities are caused by the interactions of food and bacteria in your mouth. When bacteria break down the sugars and carbohydrates in your diet, they produce acid which wears down the hard enamel outer layer of the tooth. If the bacteria are not removed with regular brushing, they form into plaque.
Minerals in the mouth bond with the plaque to create tartar which seals the acid produced by the bacteria against the tooth. A hole forms in the enamel exposing the soft dentine layer.
Is It Possible To Heal Cavities Naturally?
Teeth are designed to heal themselves through remineralization. Poor diet and inadequate oral hygiene allow bacteria to multiply and demineralize your teeth.
Eating a diet high in vitamins and minerals that support your teeth and gums, as well as maintaining a good oral hygiene routine, can help to heal cavities naturally.
Cavities are formed through acid erosion and demineralization. To reverse the damage, your teeth need to remineralize. Remineralization is a natural process that occurs in the mouth. Your saliva contains calcium and phosphate ions which interact with the biofilm on your teeth to leave crystal deposits and rebuild the hardened structures of the tooth.
Can Cavities Heal On Their Own?
Cavity remineralization is a hotly debated topic in dentistry. Depending on the severity of the cavity, your teeth can remineralize to build up the supporting structures of the tooth under ideal conditions such as neutral pH, and mineral-rich saliva. Studies have shown that creating these ideal conditions through diet patients can assist teeth to naturally remineralize.
Are All Cavities Same And Can They Be Remineralized?
Some cavities have penetrated so far into the tooth that the pulp and root canal has become infected, in which case the only option is to see your dentist for a root canal procedure.
How Early Can A Cavity Be Healed?
The earlier you spot the cavity, the more likely it is that you can heal it naturally. If you notice discoloration or changes in your bite pattern or the way your teeth feel, it may be the beginning of a cavity forming.
Make changes to your diet and oral health regime to facilitate remineralization and call your dentist for an appointment.
Can We Reverse Cavity Pain?
If you are experiencing intense localized tooth pain, you likely have severe tooth decay, which cannot be reversed by remineralization alone. However, if you have pain associated with tooth sensitivity, remineralization may be reversed with dietary changes.
How To Heal A Child's Cavity?
When it comes to protecting your child’s teeth from cavities, begin with an effective oral hygiene routine. Teaching them to properly brush and floss will protect their teeth from acid wear and tartar build-up.
Teaching them about eating a healthy, balanced diet is also a vital part of maintaining good oral health. Avoid sugary foods and drinks. Instead, encourage them to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and to drink water to boost saliva production. Avoid giving them sticky foods.
Proper Diet To Heal A Cavity
Your diet can impact the health of your teeth and gums. High sugar foods and foods with a high acid content damage the enamel on your teeth, putting you at a higher risk of developing cavities.
It is crucial to consume a diet high in remineralizing compounds found in dairy products, leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds, avocados, and coconut products.
Dr. Kev Patel is the clinical director and principal dentist at Bond Dental Clinic in Baker Street, London. He is a general and cosmetic dentist qualified from King's College London Dental Institute in 2012. He is also a member of the Royal College of Surgeons England.