Everyone is bound to get a cavity at least once in their life. Whether in your childhood or when you grow up, cavities tend to have a contagious and stubborn presence. So much so that in the United States alone, 90% of adults are prone to developing a cavity. And despite the inevitable circumstances, one of the most asked questions is: can you reverse a cavity?
What is a Cavity?
A dental cavity, or tooth decay, is the process of bacteria eating the outer layer of your teeth. These flecks of bacteria can be so harmful that they can dig up a hole up to the dentin and pulp.
The process of tooth decay is simple enough; you might not even notice you have a cavity until it’s too late and a black spot arises on your tooth.
With pain so intense it jolts you to your core, cavities can be hell to deal with.
It all starts with negligence. Forgetting to brush your teeth or forgoing flossing your gums. Thus, instead of being cleaned away, the bacteria particles hide inside your mouth. They cling to the enamel of your pearly whites, feeding off of them. Thus, once the enamel layer is destroyed, they slip inside the tooth, all the way over to the nerve endings.
When a cavity escalates up to this extent, your oral health can become jeopardized, putting you at risk of tooth loss.
What Causes Tooth Decay?
Munching on sugary snacks and foods high in starch are the common reasons why cavities are born. However, it’s when you fail to take care of your oral hygiene routine does the cavity get worse.
The leftover food stuck in your teeth is what causes an abundance of harmful bacteria, leading to plaque buildup. Instances like a dry mouth, chronic acid reflux, lack of fluoride, and poor dental health can also lead to tooth decay.
Can You Reverse a Cavity?
Believe it or not, you actually can reverse a cavity, and that too, without needing a dental filling or an intrusive root canal. But the catch is that it needs to be in its initial stage for it to work. Once the cavity reaches the inside of your tooth and the sensitivity strikes, there’s nothing much you can do.
Reversing a cavity can only be possible during the ‘demineralization’ stage. This is the first stage when the bacteria snacks on your enamel layer. Patches of small white spots might arise on the surface of your tooth. Since the cavity hasn’t yet formed, this is the prime moment to put an end to the harmful bacteria.
How to Reverse the Effects of Cavity
Pressing an undo on the effects of a cavity can be tricky, but if you can follow through, you might recover your oral health. Here are some steps you can add to your routine to reverse a dental cavity:
- Switch up your diet and incorporate more vitamins, as well as foods with a good pH balance.
- Give your dental hygiene routine a boost by brushing your teeth after every meal. You can also try to floss and use mouthwash on a daily basis.
- Opt for a fluoride treatment to support your enamel by getting it stronger.
- Schedule an appointment with your dentist for bi-annual teeth cleaning sessions.
- Dental sealants might help seal off the tooth from further decay for children and teenagers.
- Reduce your sugar intake by a good chunk, so there are no risks of bacteria in your mouth.
- Visit your dentist two times every year for a proper dental evaluation.
Long Story Short
If you were wondering whether you can reverse a cavity, the answer is: yes. But it’s better to take action when you first spot the signs. Keep an eye out for white or discolored patches on the surface of your teeth. You can also contact Briar Forest Dental Group at (713) 784-4430 for more information.