Cavities are tiny holes in the teeth that form as a result of tooth decay. Several home treatments might help prevent or halt tooth decay before it becomes a cavity.
Food and germs build up on the teeth’s surface and along the gumline, forming a sticky film. This is referred to as “plaque.”
When a person eats, plaque bacteria create acids, which can cause cavities. Streptococcus mutans is a bacterium that contributes to tooth decay.
If plaque isn’t removed by a person or a dentist, it can cause the following problems:
- lead to tartar formation
- destroy the bone supporting the teeth
- cause tooth decay and gum infections (gingivitis)
Plaque accumulates more quickly in sites like:
- around any fillings, particularly when they are chipped or broken
- close to the gum line
- cracks, pits, and grooves in the teeth
- between the teeth
Cavities are holes in teeth that are also known as tooth decay or caries. They occur when acids eat away at the hard surface of the teeth.
Tooth decay begins on the surface and outer layer of the tooth, known as the enamel. It eventually reaches the dentin, the inner layer of the tooth. A cavity begins to form at this moment.
The tooth loses minerals (demineralization) in the first stage, resulting in white patches. When decay has affected the enamel of a tooth but has not yet reached the dentin, this is called a halo effect. However, after the rot has progressed to the dentin, expert treatment is required.
|damaged enamel||damaged enamel and dentin|
|no holes but may have visible white spots||presence of holes|
|usually not painful||painful|
Dental cavities are the most frequent noncommunicable disease in the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Untreated dental decay affects one out of every four adults in the United States.
Cavities at home treatment
Cavities must be treated by dentists in a professional manner.
Several home treatments, on the other hand, can help to build tooth enamel and prevent dental decay by reversing early demineralization. This is referred to as remineralization, and it prevents cavities from developing.
Cavities can be prevented and reversed with good oral care, such as frequent brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings with a dentist.
Fluoride is a tried-and-true method of preventing tooth decay and cavities. Toothpaste with high levels of fluoride or fluoride applied directly to the teeth helps to remineralize the enamel and prevent cavities.
According to the findings of a 2018 study, high fluoride toothpaste prevents cavities better than low fluoride toothpaste.
Sodium fluoride mouth rinse was also determined to be the most effective approach among the self-applied fluoride methods studied in a 2020 review.
Fluoride is also important to cities and municipalities in the United States. For more than 75 years, several communities have adopted community water fluoridation. This is the most cost-effective technique, with a 25 percent reduction in tooth decay in both children and adults.
Some people, however, may prefer natural home cures to fluoride-containing products. Here are a few home methods for preventing tooth decay.
1. Pulling oil
Ayurveda, an ancient school of alternative treatment, is where oil pulling got its start. It entails swishing a spoonful of sesame or coconut oil around the mouth for around 20 minutes before spitting it out.
While certain claims concerning oil pulling have not been scientifically proven, research shows that it can help with tooth health. It decreases germs in the mouth, plaque, and gum irritation, according to a 2017 study.
According to a paper published in 2020, oil pulling with coconut oil may enhance tooth health and oral hygiene. However, further study is needed to evaluate the usefulness of the approach, according to the experts.
2. Aloe vera
Aloe vera tooth gel may aid in the battle against cavity-causing germs. According to a 2019 study, the antibacterial activity of this gel reduces the accumulation of germs in the mouth.
Aloe vera’s antibacterial characteristics may help minimize dental cavities by lowering dangerous germs in the mouth, however additional study is needed.
3. Stay away from phytic acid
Some people believe that phytic acid, an antinutrient, leads to tooth disease by preventing the absorption and bioavailability of numerous nutrients. Minerals like iron, zinc, and calcium fall under this category.
Some people believe that eliminating it from their diet can help them avoid tooth decay and cavities. The most prevalent sources of phytic acid are grains and legumes, which include the following:
- navy beans
- blackeye beans
- broad beans
- kidney beans
- haricot beans
- pinto beans
According to study released in 2015, food manufacturers have taken steps to minimize their phytic acid level in order to improve the bioavailability of micronutrients in food grains.
While science has proved that phytic acid has antinutrient qualities, there has been little research on its impact on the minerals in dental enamel.
4. Minerals and vitamins
- protecting against dental caries
- releasing calcium in the saliva to mineralize teeth enamel
- forming healthy teeth
According to a 2020 study, a lack of minerals might cause absorption issues, an increased tendency to bleed, and tooth loss.
Vitamin D is also important for dental health. It prevents tooth cavities from forming and progressing. Children with dental caries had lower vitamin D levels in their blood and lower calcium levels in their saliva, according to a study published in 2021.
Furthermore, taking vitamin D without magnesium causes a fragile enamel that is unable to withstand the acids in the mouth, resulting in tooth decay.
5. Limit your intake of sugary meals and beverages.
Cavities are caused by a variety of causes, including diet, notably the use of free sugars. When sugar reacts with microorganisms in the mouth, it produces an acid that erodes tooth enamel.
The World Health Organization advises people to reduce their intake of free sugars. Aside from the quantity, taking free sweets before night increases the risk of dental caries, according to a 2017 research.
6. Eat licorice root
Licorice root contains antibacterial capabilities that can kill the bacterium that causes cavities, S. mutans.
Licorice root extract has antibacterial characteristics that are equivalent to chlorhexidine mouthwash and more powerful than fluoride mouthwash, according to a 2019 study.
A similar analysis was done in 2021, and licorice extract was discovered to have antibacterial effects.
7. Sugar-free gum
According to the findings of a 2015 study, chewing sugar-free gum after meals lowered the levels of microorganisms that erode enamel.
The presence of fewer of these bacteria may result in stronger enamel that is better able to resist deterioration.
Eggshells are high in calcium, which can be used to help remineralize dental enamel. It may also be used to remove plaque as an abrasive cleanser. A research published in 2018 found that modified eggshell with titanium oxide composite protects teeth against acidic chemicals.
Cavities and tooth decay can be avoided by practicing high oral hygiene and brushing with a fluoride-rich toothpaste on a regular basis.
Pre-cavities can also be detected by limiting sugar intake and seeing the dentist on a regular basis. When deterioration occurs in the pre-cavity stage, home treatments can also be used to prevent cavities.
When should you see a dentist?
Home treatments can help prevent cavities or cure enamel damage in the pre-cavity stage. Because not all cavities produce discomfort, it is essential to visit the dentist on a frequent basis.
Dentists can discover cavities early on and offer strategies to avoid them. For advanced cases of decay, they may recommend a filling, sealant, crown, or other therapies.
Brushing, ideally with a high fluoride toothpaste, should be used in conjunction with dentist-recommended procedures.
Tooth decay and cavities are frequent dental problems that may be avoided with proper dental care and oral health. Aside from that, there are several home cures that might help reverse or prevent cavities.