|Can You Reverse Tooth Decay?
The human mouth is filled with many types of bacteria. While some of these bacteria are helpful, there are also some that are harmful. The harmful bacteria in your mouth can do significant damage, including cause decay. Harmful bacteria produce acids that weaken your tooth enamel, which is what causes decay. Eventually, the decay can form into a cavity. It is possible to reverse tooth decay to help prevent the formation of a cavity. DFW Oral Surgeons can help.
What Exactly Happens in the Mouth?
Throughout the day, your teeth go through both demineralization and remineralization. Demineralization occurs when your teeth lose minerals. This happens when the acids attack your tooth enamel. When you lose minerals, a white spot may occur. This is decay.
Your teeth can also remineralize themselves. Your enamel can be repaired by using the minerals found in your saliva as well as using fluoride found in your toothpaste. To combat decay and prevent it from turning into a cavity, your teeth need to replace the same amount of minerals that they have lost. It is when your teeth lose more minerals than they replace that decay can worsen and turn into a cavity.
Alter Your Diet
One thing you can do to reverse the early signs of tooth decay is to alter your diet. Limit your intake of sugars and carbohydrates, which break down into sugars. Make sure that you eat plenty of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, and dairy. Eating crunchy fruits and vegetables not only helps to give your body vitamins and minerals, but they also help to scrub away plaque and bacteria from your teeth. The act of chewing also helps to stimulate your natural saliva flow.
Watch What You’re Drinking
In addition to watching the foods you eat, you should also pay attention to what you drink. Fruit juices, flavored beverages, and sodas all have high amounts of sugar, which feed oral bacteria. Sodas, even sugar-free varieties, also contain acids that can help to weaken your teeth. Limit your consumption of sugary beverages and increase your water intake.
Take Good Care of Your Mouth
A major factor in reversing tooth decay is taking good care of your mouth. Make sure that you’re brushing and flossing your teeth regularly. These habits are necessary for removing plaque, bacteria, and lingering sugars from your teeth. They also help to remove the acids that weaken your enamel.
Fluoride is an essential component of healthy teeth and can be a key factor in reversing tooth decay.
Brush your teeth with a fluoridated toothpaste. You can also ask your general dentist about getting fluoride treatments during your routine dental visits.
What if a Cavity Develops?
Once a cavity forms, you cannot reverse the decay. Instead, you will need a treatment known as a filling to put a stop to its progression and protect your tooth from further harm. If you do not treat a cavity, it will only worsen. If the decay and cavity overtake the tooth, you may develop an infection or even need to have the tooth extracted.
If you have been told that you have decay, it may be possible to reverse it. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call DFW Oral Surgeons at (972) 539-1491 today.