Can tooth decay heal? – Information about tooth decay
There’s been some discussion over the years amongst the health conscious about whether we could heal small cavities. To dentist fearing individuals, this may be great news as it saves them a trip to the clinic but how much truth is there to this rumour? Let’s investigate further….
Small cavities CAN be healed to an extent
Once a carious lesion (Cavity) has progressed into the later stages of its life cycle, that’s when the damage is truly done. But before it has the chance to progress further, there’s a window of time where consistent and solid effort can reverse the decay process. Enamel, the hardest substance in the human body protects and replenishes itself through a process we call remineralisation. If you practice good dental hygiene, you assist in this process where enamel can be repaired by the body. It takes a long time for a cavity to form because enamel is so hard, so when there are visible signs of a cavity, it’s a strong indicator that its been at play behind the scenes for a while. Teeth front and centre are easy to reach and see, but the back teeth (which are prime spots for cavities) are where you’ll need the help of a dentist to reach.
How do you get tooth decay?
To answer that question in the broadest stroke, you get tooth decay from not brushing and clearing away food particles in the mouth which then hardens and turns into plaque. The acids in the plaque then dissolve the enamel of your teeth which turns into what we know as a cavity or the onset of one. Starchy as well as sugary foods are the best at clinging to your teeth. It’s an old adage but avoid high carbohydrate and sugary food to give your teeth the best treatment. Enjoy things in moderation.
How do you know you have a cavity?
Cavity pain symptoms can range from nothing at all to severe. It’s totally about how far the decay has progressed. If it’s in the superficial phase, you won’t feel anything and only your dentist will be able to detect it. If it has progressed far into its stage of decay, then common symptoms include a toothache or pain when you eat hot, cold or sugary foods.
So is it all about getting in there early?
Yes, it is. Prevention is always better than cure and it’s the exact reason why dentists the world over will tell you to brush, floss and avoid sugary food. Consistent effort over time will produce results and the longer you stick with these efforts, the more return you will see next trip to the dentist.
We recommend flossing every night before you brush to thread away food particles before aiming to brush for 2 minutes.
Use a single tuft toothbrush
Curaprox and TePe make single tuft toothbrushes which are terrific at reaching back teeth as well as teeth crevices. Brush with your regular brush before finishing off the session with a single tuft toothbrush to get that extra mileage out of your home dental care.
Cook your own meals
Tap into your inner chef and research recipes that are plant-based with low or no wheat ingredients. Vegetables, lean meats and a moderate amount of fruits will ensure you’re feeling full without the guilt that follows from consuming high fat and carb-dense foods.
Visit your dentist every 6 months
We couldn’t recommend this last tip more because there’s no other way of knowing you’re clear than under the guidance and advice of your dentist.