Nobody likes to be gifted with a thick dental bill, honestly. But unfortunately, when we have certain tooth conditions like decay or cavities, we need to see a dentist before the tooth gets completely destroyed.
For those who don’t know, cavities and tooth decay are the most common and dreadful dental conditions of all, it is better to get it treated at the first place. We at Franklin Dental strive to protect our valuable patients from fearful dental procedures. Therefore, we have answered your query ‘can tooth decay be reversed’ as well as provided ways to prevent it. After going through this guide, you won’t need to go through all that pain of root canals or implants to get chewing again.
Can Decay in a Tooth be Reversed?
Luckily, tooth decay can be reversed if it is diagnosed in its early stages. The patient needs to cut down on sugars and follow a proper routine for their dental hygiene to stop the tooth from further decaying. Before we move to the prevention and reversing methods, let’s first read about how tooth decay starts and what its symptoms are.
What is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay or cavities is a prevailing dental condition in which the hard areas of your tooth get permanently damaged and develops tiny opening or holes where food gets stuck when you chew.
While there is no one cause of tooth decay, harmful bacteria living in our mouth can be a primary cause of it. When you eat sugary products, these harmful bacteria feed on them and produce acid that leads to the development of cavities. If proper dental hygiene is not maintained, the decaying tooth will develop into a cavity, for which you must visit a dentist for treatment.
5 Stages of Tooth Decay leading to Cavities
There are 5 stages of tooth decay that lead to the formation of cavities.
- Demineralization: When you have too many sugars and starch, your enamel (outer protective layer) is exposed to the acid produced by harmful bacteria in your mouth, and that’s when your tooth starts to decay.
- Enamel Decay: After long exposure to acids, enamel starts to break down and develop cavities in the tooth.
- Dentin Decay: The third stage starts when the enamel is completely destroyed, the decay attacks the dentin (a layer of soft tissues below the enamel) and starts causing your tooth to hurt.
- Pulp Decay: The second-last and major stage of tooth decay starts when the cavity reaches the pulp. At this point, the nerves and blood vessels of that tooth get affected and the inflammations get more severe.
- Abscesses: The last stage is abscess formation which can be avoided if you visit a dentist in the initial stages. When the cavity reaches the pulp, it starts puss formation beneath it. Since abscesses are extremely painful, they can’t go unnoticed. By this stage, you must have already booked an appointment with your dentist.
There’s no specific timeline for tooth decay to develop since it is affected by a variety of factors. That said, poor oral hygiene is the prominent culprit for dental cavities.
How to Reverse Tooth Decay - Can Tooth Decay be Reversed?
As we have mentioned above, tooth decay can be reversed. However, for that, you must detect the development of the cavity in its early stages. There are many methods that help reverse the decay and restore your tooth’s health. Below we have discussed both natural and u-natural ways to reverse tooth decay.
Fluorides are popular for treating tooth decay and minimizing its spread. They can even stop the decay and restore the tooth if used religiously. Here is how fluorides work to restore your tooth:
- It prevents mineral loss due to tooth decay and reinstates the lost minerals.
- It prevents the bacteria from making more acid.
What are the Best Sources of Fluoride?
Naturally, occurring fluorides in food, plants, animals, and groundwater are insufficient to protect our teeth from decay. Hence, most communities in the United States request their water suppliers to add fluoride to their water, called fluoridation, to get an adequate amount of fluoride daily.
Apart from that, try shopping for kinds of toothpaste containing greater quantities of fluoride and have been approved by the American Dental Association. Using toothpaste with mouthwash rich in fluorides would work wonders for your decaying tooth.
Maintain Nutrition Levels
Ultimately, methods to treat tooth decay naturally come down to improving your nutrition health. Naturally producing healthy fats like cheese and avocadoes can help reverse cavities. Apart from that, you should add phytic acid to your diet to slow down the decaying process and protect your tooth from further damage.
Natural probiotics, calcium and Vitamin D can be used to strengthen your teeth. All these natural remedies with fluoride intake and proper hygiene will surely prevent your tooth from decaying and, in some cases, restore your tooth to its healthy state.
Typically, composite and resin fillings are used to fill a cavity.
Inlays or Onlays
Dentists suggest inlays or onlays for those with bigger cavities as they are untreatable with normal fillings.
When a patient reaches the 4th stage of tooth decay, dentists suggest a root canal in which the filling is inserted inside the decaying tooth.
When a cavity affects a bigger part of the tooth, porcelain crowns are used to cover that tooth.
When nothing works after the damage has been done, extractions may be necessary.
Symptoms of Tooth Decay
Knowing about the tooth decay symptoms is important because if it turns out to be an initial stage, higher chances are there of saving your tooth. That said, very few people could know that they are developing a cavity in the tooth; most people know when it starts to hurt. The following are the symptoms of tooth decay. Check them to know if you are experiencing any:
- Spontaneous pain occurs without any apparent reason.
- Tooth Sensitivity
- Sharp or jabbing pain when chewing or sipping sweet, hot or cold stuff.
- Prominent pits or holes in your teeth.
- Black, brown or white staining on the tooth.
- Sharp pain while biting a hard food item.
How to Prevent Dental Cavities from Developing in the First Place?
While reversing the decaying process is practical, maintaining good oral health is far better than hunting for cures. Here are some essential tips for you to note down if you wish to prevent cavities from forming.
- Brushing: Brushing teeth at least twice a day with fluoride-containing toothpaste would help prevent cavities and treat early damage to your tooth.
- Flossing: While most of us overlook this important step in dental hygiene, it prevents plaque accumulation between the teeth if done once a day.
- Adding fluoride: Whether it’s food, water, toothpaste or mouthwash, you need to ensure that all of them should have some amount of fluoride as it is crucial for your oral health.
- Limiting exposure to sugary foods: Try cutting down on sugary products as much as possible. They are not just bad for your oral health but your heart and kidneys as well. If you have them anyway, don’t forget to brush your teeth afterwards.
- Cleaning: Last but surely not the least. Deep dental cleaning should be done every 6 months to prevent cavities and keep track of your oral health.
A healthy diet is important to maintain healthy teeth. While there are numerous natural and unnatural ways to treat or reverse tooth decay, they are all just added efforts at the end of the day. If you take good care of your teeth from the beginning, you might never need any kind of regime to return them to their original healthy state.
Lastly, if you think you are experiencing any of the above-stated symptoms, start following our recommended care routine, and you will be surprised to see how it dramatically changes your tooth game.