Can You Reverse Tooth Decay?
Cavities begin to form in the outermost layer of the tooth, the enamel. They progress at different rates in different people depending on many factors such as diet, enamel composition, tooth structure, and saliva. Decay can develop rapidly and spread to the layer beneath the enamel called the dentin. Once a cavity reaches the dentin it progresses much more rapidly. If it goes to the nerves and blood vessels, it can lead to an infection (abscess). Cavities may also take on a more slow progression and remain painless for years without spreading further than the enamel.
Demineralization is the initial stage of cavity formation. Acid byproducts from bacteria begin softening the enamel by removing calcium and other minerals. It is at this stage of development that you can prevent weakening the enamel further and reverse tooth decay before it becomes nonreversible. Demineralization can only be reversed if there is sufficient time to allow remineralization to occur. Remineralization counteracts the acids that strip away calcium and strengthen the enamel back to a healthy state. Though a cavity cannot be completely cured, you can prevent it from progressing as long as it is only in the enamel.
Things you can do to aid in the remineralization process and reverse tooth decay:
- Healthy Diet – Maintain a well-balanced diet, including foods low in acidity and sugars.
- Personal Oral Care – Keep a rigorous home dental hygiene routine to remove the plaque that harbors bacteria from the teeth.
- Fluoride – Fluoridated toothpaste and professional treatments help re-harden the enamel and offer sensitivity protection.
The only way to know what stage a cavity is in during its development is through a dental examination with x-rays. Westchase Premier Dental will do a complete and thorough exam to diagnose any presence of decay, its progression, and determine the best form of treatment.
If you think you may have a cavity, call us immediately. Don’t wait around and let what could be a simple filling turn into something more serious and invasive. Our friendly staff is ready to help! (813) 475 – 4528
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