Dental cavities happen when bacterial infection eats through the enamel that protects our teeth.
Our mouths are full of all kinds of bacteria. Some bacteria are good for us others combine with sugars and starches to form acids that can eat away at our teeth.
Harmful bacteria form a sticky, colourless film that covers our teeth. This is known as plaque. If plaque is not removed, it will cause tooth decay.
When we eat foods and drinks like milk, bread, cookies, candy, pop, juice and other foods containing sugar or starch, they combine with the plaque in our mouth to produce acids.
Dental Plaque And Acid Build Up More Easily In Places Such As
- Cracks, pits, and grooves in the teeth
- Between the teeth
- Around any fillings, particularly when they are chipped or broken
- Close to the gum line
If the acid is allowed to remain on your teeth for an extended period of time, it will eventually start wearing down the enamel and decay the tooth’s inner layer, called the dentin. If left untreated, this decay will reach the inner pulp of nerves and blood vessels. It is now considered a cavity.
The only way to completely remove a cavity is by having your dentist fill it.
Signs Of Weakening Tooth Enamel
One of the first signs of weakening enamel can be a white spot, or area on the teeth that looks whiter than the rest. This is the enamel starting to wear out.
Tooth enamel is made of HAP, water, carbonate, trace elements (sodium, magnesium, potassium, chloride, zinc), lipids and fluoride. The mineral component (HAP) forming enamel, dentin and cementum contains: carbonate, sodium, magnesium and chloride, as well as a small quantity of fluoride.
When you have a healthy diet, these minerals occur naturally in your saliva.
While sugars and starches form acids that wear away the enamel, healthy saliva restores the minerals and strengthens the enamel.
The secret is to get saliva all over your teeth while you eat. Taking your time to chew your food properly helps get saliva to your teeth.
After eating, brush or rinse away the acids immediately…or at least brush your teeth twice a day. How To Avoid Tooth Decay And Cavities
Studies in the British Medical Journal suggest that a change in diet can actually reverse tooth decay.
Keep in mind, once you have an actual cavity, the only solution left is to get proper treatment from a dentist. But if you make sure you have the proper diet on a regular basis (along with a good teeth cleaning routine), you can prevent many problems in your teeth.
How To Prevent And Even Reverse Cavity Formation And Tooth Decay Early In The Process
- Consume more calcium rich foods like kale, collards, broccoli, rapini and dairy products.
- Avoid drinking pop, juice and drinks with high carbonation. These types of foods can cause excessive plaque and tartar buildup.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Take time to brush carefully in all the crevices of your mouth.
- Floss at least once a day. This helps remove food that may have lodged under your gums. If food is left there for an extended period of time it can become infected…leading to cavities.
- Use mouthwash. Antibacterial mouthwashes can be very helpful in preventing the buildup of harmful bacteria.
- Add vitamins and supplements to your diet. Micro-nutrients strengthen bones and teeth. They also help keep inflammation under control. If your enamel is starting to wear down, supplements can help reverse the problem and re-strengthen your tooth enamel.
- Eat foods that increase salivation like bananas, Brussels sprouts, whole grain foods, and seafood like tuna and sardines.
- Eat foods with natural probiotics. Probiotics like kombucha, kefir, fermented foods like kimchee and sauerkraut help offset the acidic pH of other foods and stimulate the production of healthy bacteria.
- Imbalanced pH levels can create an environment for bacteria to thrive. Drinks such as coffee, some citrus fruits and sugars create pH imbalances and act as the perfect environment for harbouring infectious oral bacteria.
- Use fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that can prevent tooth decay from progressing. It can even reverse, or stop, early tooth decay. Fluoride works to protect teeth by preventing mineral loss in tooth enamel, replacing lost minerals and reducing the ability of bacteria to make acid. Use toothpaste that contains fluoride.
Proper diet and hygiene can definitely reduce the risk of cavities or reverse damage to enamel in the pre-cavity stage. Proper diet and hygiene should be a normal, everyday part of your life.
Remember: Not all cavities cause pain. If you want the healthiest teeth possible, it is important to get a dental checkup twice a year.
Dentists can detect cavities at an early stage and recommend preventive action. They may also provide a filling, crown, or other treatment for advanced cases of decay.Leave a reply →