No one wants to hear the news that you have a dental cavity, but unfortunately, most of us have to hear it from our dentist at least once in our lifetime. One of the common questions that we hear is, “Can you get rid of cavities?”
The reason for that is there is a common belief or perception that once you get a cavity, there is no way that you can reverse the process but either to remove the tooth or fill it with a synthetic material, which is also called tooth filling. Apart from being expensive, the process is most of the time painful and time-consuming.
That said, we will give you an idea of how you can prevent tooth cavities from happening and how can you get rid it of it. It should be clear though that we are not advising you not to go to your dentist, as they are still the best people to help treat your oral cavity problems.
How Cavities Occur?
Dental cavities or caries are those little holes found on the surface of the teeth and they are mostly caused by bacteria. The bacteria form plaque, which is a sticky film made of acid.
That acid gradually removes phosphate and calcium from the teeth enamel. Once the acid penetrates through the upper layer of the teeth surface and spreads to the dentin layer, it creates a cavity.
Can You Get Rid of Cavities?
Fortunately, you can get rid of dental cavities. According to modern research, specifically, a recent study published by the British Medical Journal, you can get rid of the cavities with a proper diet.
According to the study, which was based on three groups of children provided with three different diets, one group showed remarkable improvement by reversing the cavities. So, what did they eat?
The group that experienced an improvement was provided with a nutrient-rich diet, without any grains, along with a vitamin D supplement. The second group also showed slight improvement, but their diet included grains along with vitamin D.
The study concluded that cavities can be reversed with a nutrient-rich diet and by adding a vitamin D supplement to your diet. Dr. Ramiel Nagel backs the same theory in his book, “Cure Tooth Decay.”
One of the reasons for tooth decay is lack of vitamins in our diet, especially vitamin D. In fact, vitamin D deficiency is considered as the primary cause of cavities among young children.
Nutrient-rich diet can also help remove cavities because lack of minerals in your diet is a common cause of tooth decay and cavities. Your food must have a sufficient amount of magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus to keep the enamel layer on a healthy level. We have already discussed vitamin D, but you also need food rich in fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, E, and K.
How to Prevent Dental Cavities?
While there are ways to get rid of dental cavities, both through diet and dental procedures, it is always best to prevent the occurrence of such. The best way is to look into the reasons for tooth decay, as well as food items that are actually causing or contributing to tooth decay. Removal of these food items from your diet and change in your lifestyle can help prevent cavities or the progress of a cavity.
1. Avoid Phytic Acid-Rich Food
Phytic acid-rich food should be avoided as it is actually acid that creates holes in your teeth. Some of them include almonds, beans, peas, walnuts, and wheat.
2. Chew Sugar-Free Gum
According to some recent clinical trials, chewing sugar-free gum can help you remineralize enamel, which means it strengthens the layer of teeth. There is a gum available in the market that contains xylitol which is known for its properties like helping reduce S. mutans, improving the pH of plaque, and stimulating saliva flow. Another sugar-free gum commonly available in the market contains CPP-ACP (casein phosphopeptide-amorphous calcium phosphate) which can also help reduce S. mutans growth.
3. Use Fluoride Toothpaste
It is probably the first thing your dentist would recommend to you when treating your cavities. Fluoride is well-known for its health benefits, especially for teeth. It provides the minerals our enamel requires and can prevent cavities. It not only helps in the prevention of cavities in children but can also reverse the process of tooth decay.
4. Use Oils
This is an ancient method which is used in China and other parts of the world for centuries. You can use coconut or sesame oil to swish for around 15 to 20 minutes, and then spit it out.
This is called “oil pulling.” This method is known to aid in removing the unwanted toxins from our mouth. It also helps kill bacteria and reduce gingivitis and plaque.
5. Gargle with Mouthwash
For the similar or even better effects than oil-pulling, you can also use chlorhexidine mouthwash. In fact, any mouthwash that is designed to kill bacteria as well as help reduce plaque and prevent cavities.
6. Consume Licorice Lollipops
This is another traditional Chinese method that uses Glycyrrhiza uralensis, commonly known as Chinese licorice plant. It is known for helping combat bacteria and preventing plaques and cavities, properties that are also backed by some recent studies.
In fact, you can also find licorice lollipops in some stores that sell dental products. Some also have found that the plant has a property that can help reduce S. mutans growth.
Can you get rid of cavities? Yes, you can, but it is a slow and lengthy process as you need to make some lifestyle changes. First, you need to change your diet by adding more nutrient-rich food items and removing sugary and acidic food from your daily diet. Similarly, adding a vitamin D supplement can be a great help.
If the problem persists, it is recommended to visit your dentist. There are many ways to treat cavities which include fluoride treatments, fillings, crowns, root canals, and even tooth extraction. However, if you can change your diet accordingly and take the necessary steps to prevent dental cavities, you’ll be having a good set of teeth!