Cavities are a common issue. In fact, according to American Dental Association (ADA), 1 in 5 Americans have cavities in their teeth.
When your tooth starts to decay, it can lead to cavity formation. Cavities are caused due to exposure to acids that erode your tooth’s protective enamel and promote demineralisation. Weakened enamel can lead to cavity formation and even a chipped or cracked tooth.
Exposure to acids occurs when you eat a lot of sugar rich and high carbohydrates diet. The soda and sweets that you put in your mouth react with the bacteria already present in your mouth.
This reaction leads to production of acids that harm the protective layer of your tooth and cause decay, eventually leading to cavities.
Cavities can also occur if you have a dry mouth or your salivary glands don’t produce enough saliva. When there isn’t enough saliva present in the mouth, it is unable to neutralize the acidity in your mouth. Your teeth get exposed to acids and thus cavities are formed.
Prevention of Teeth Cavities
Prevention is better than cure. Which is why, preventing the formation of cavities in the first place is an ideal scenario. To prevent teeth cavities, take care of the following things:
- Brush your teeth twice a day, at the very least. Brushing is also important after eating a sugary food like cake or doughnuts.
- When brushing, use a fluoride based toothpaste. Fluoride is effective at dealing with bacteria present in the mouth. Use a toothbrush that works for you. Medium toothbrushes usually are good for everyone. If possible, use electric toothbrush as it is more powerful and effective at cleaning.
- Remember to floss your teeth daily to remove any food particles that might have remained stuck between your teeth, causing acid production.
- A mouth wash is a good way to clean your mouth of bacteria as well as get rid of bad breath.
- Avoid sodas, candies, chocolates, pastries and other sugary and carbohydrate rich food items as they harm your teeth.
- Chewing sugar free gum containing xylitol has been shown to prevent tooth decay by promoting production of saliva which helps neutralize the acids.
- Go to regular dental check-ups. On an average, you should get your teeth checked at least twice a year.
- Make sure you are getting the right nutrition. Calcium, vitamin D and fluoride are important in maintaining the strength of your teeth.
Treatment of Teeth Cavities
Once there are cavities in your teeth, most people believe that surgical methods like root canalling are the only way to treat it. That is not true.
Surgical methods are required only when the cavity has been left untreated for long time and has thus grown deeper. If the cavity is a newly formed one or not that deep, there are several non-surgical ways you can reverse teeth cavities.
1. Get Rid of Sugar
Sugar is the main culprit of teeth cavities. When you eat sugary foods, they react with the bacteria present in the mouth and produce acid which causes tooth decay.
Not only is sugar harmful for your teeth, it is bad for your overall health as it can be addictive. Sugar addiction causes you to crave more sugary foods which in turn negatively impacts your body.
So stay away from sodas, pastries, sports drinks, chocolates and any other sweet food. Instead, opt for sugar substitutes like honey, stevia and maple syrup which are healthier.
2. Do Oil Pulling
A traditional Ayurvedic practice, oil pulling is a great way to detoxify your mouth, thus getting rid of any harmful organisms and substances that may have been present inside.
This simple technique is known to treat a number of dental issues like gingivitis, gum swelling, dry mouth and of course, tooth decay.
It is recommended that you use coconut oil for this due its naturally occurring medicinal properties.
- Mix a few drops of clove oil for added benefit.
- In the morning, right after you get up, put a little oil in your mouth
- Swish it gently inside for 15 – 20 minutes while you do other activities.
- Then rinse off with warm water and brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste.
- Continue till the cavity starts to close.
3. Consume Raw Dairy Products
Raw dairy products are filled with vitamins and minerals that enhance your dental health by promoting saliva production, strengthening your teeth and incubating beneficial bacteria.
These products contain vitamin K, vitamin D, calcium and magnesium – all of which are responsible for good and healthy teeth.
Some examples of raw dairy products include grass fed butter, goat milk kefir, yogurt, raw cheese and milk.
4. Applying Turmeric Paste
Turmeric is known, not just for its culinary uses to add flavor, taste and color, but also for its wide ranging medicinal benefits for a variety of problems.
Turmeric contains anti – oxidant, anti – inflammatory and anti – bacterial properties, which is why, it is used to treat joint pain, wounds and skin rashes among many other things.
Turmeric paste can be used to treat tooth decay and cavities in the mouth. To make the turmeric paste:
- Take ½ tablespoon of turmeric powder in a small bowl.
- Add 10 drops of clove oil or sesame oil.
- Add ½ teaspoon of salt.
- Mix them together to make a paste.
- Apply this paste on the affected area for 30 minutes.
- Now swish and rinse it off with lukewarm water.
- Repeat it every day until the cavities get treated.
5. Eliminate Phytic Acid from your Diet
Phytic acid is an enzyme inhibitor and mineral blocker that is found in food items such as grains, nuts, beans and seeds. When these food items undergo fermentation or sprouting, phytic acid gets removed and they are safe to eat.
However, today these processes have become rare. Which is why, so much phytic acid enters your body. A diet rich in phytic acid results in body being unable to absorb the required minerals, which eventually leads to mineral deficiencies.
Mineral deficiency is bad because minerals are required to strengthen the bones and teeth. Without sufficient mineral levels, you can suffer from poor dental health as well as issues like osteoporosis.
6. Use Salt
Salt is a naturally occurring substance that contains strong antibacterial, antiseptic and antimicrobial properties; no wonder it is so widely used in toothpastes.
Due to these properties, salt can help fight the tooth decay and reverse the teeth cavities present in your mouth. It can also help fight gum swelling and prevent spreading bacteria.
To use salt:
- Take 1 tablespoon of salt in a bowl.
- Add 5 drops of clove oil in it.
- Mix it well to make a paste like texture.
- Apply it on the affected tooth and leave it on for 15 – 20 minutes.
- Do it twice a day until it gets healed.
7. Make Garlic Paste
Garlic contains strong anti – bacterial and anti – inflammatory properties and is a widely used herb for both, culinary as well as medicinal purposes.
Eating garlic can boost your immune system and get rid of the bacteria in your mouth as well your body. It can prevent tooth decay and fight cavities.
You can make a garlic paste by grinding 10 cloves of garlic with just enough water to make a paste. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and mix. Now apply this mixture on the affected area for 30 minutes and then rinse it off with water. Do it twice daily for 1 – 2 weeks.
8. Create your own Remineralizing Toothpaste
If you don’t trust the commercially available toothpaste (and who can blame you what with all those toxins being added to everything), you can make your own toothpaste filled with minerals that are required for healthy teeth.
You will need:
- 4 tablespoons of coconut oil
- 5 tablespoons of calcium powder
- 2 tablespoons of baking soda
- 1 small container to store the toothpaste
- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
- Keep whisking till you get a paste like texture.
- Store it in the container or a jar.
- Use it to brush your teeth twice daily.
You can add clove essential oil or sesame essential oil to the toothpaste for added benefits.
9. Brush with Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is a must have substance if you follow natural remedies to cure your ailments. It is even recommended to keep in your natural first aid kit.
Activated charcoal helps draw out toxins from your body and kill bacteria in your mouth which helps you reverse your cavities.
It also destroys plaque, whitens your teeth, prevents bacteria build up and promotes formation of new enamel.
To use activated charcoal,
- Get some powdered activated charcoal and dip your wet toothbrush in it.
- Now gently brush in small circles for about 2 minutes.
- After brushing, wash your mouth properly.
- Do it once or twice a week till the problem goes away.
10. Chew Neem Leaves
Neem or Indian lilac is a widely used herb in the Indian traditional medicine due to its potent anti – bacterial, anti – inflammatory and anti – septic properties.
Chewing neem leaves in the morning can help rid your mouth of bacteria and combat any gum swelling to reduce pain of tooth decay and cavities.
It will also prevent plaque formation and bacteria build up while at the same time getting rid of your bad breath.
If neem leaves are too strong for, you can boil them and then drink the water after straining it.