Cavities and tooth decay is the no. 1 topic so we have decided to write a detailed article with Q&A section answering every question you have ever asked us! We are also planning to release the whole book on this subject so please check back soon in a couple of weeks!
This article is on how to heal tooth decay (reverse cavities) naturally, that is without drilling. It does NOT mean that you shouldn't consult the case with your dentist. Having bitewing x-rays and the opinion of your dentist is priceless information about your chances for success! So please keep in mind that it's the dentist who is making calls if you could try a natural approach or it's too late and the tooth needs to be drilled & filled! Of course, it's also good to have a second opinion if your dentist prefers the aggressive approach. Deciding on your own, without x-rays is not recommended, as it may lead to needing a root canal, or even having the tooth extracted!
How to heal cavities naturally and reverse tooth decay?
0. Knowing how it all works
All of your teeth have the ability to heal so that you can reverse tooth decay naturally! This is not quackery or bro science, but rather scientifically proven fact. Unfortunately, as usual, it’s more complicated in practice which is why we’ll describe this process in detail.
First of all, this healing is something different than what you may think. Cavities (tooth decay, or caries if you want to use proper terminology) can be either active (progressing) or arrested (once progressing, now stopped). An active cavity is one with progressive loss of minerals – the damage is still occurring, so as time passes it will become more and more severe. Arrested decay is what we consider healed cavity – it is remineralized and will not progress anymore. But you need to know that it does not mean that teeth can grow back. The best analogy we have found so far is by dr Judene Benoit, please read the quote from an interview with her below:
If you accidentally cut your fingertip off, you would say the skin around it is healed. You’re happy, the skin is hard, it’s not susceptible to an infection and it’s functioning just like normal. But the actual fingertip does not grow back and it’s the same with cavities.
So when you have a cavity (a hole in your tooth), it can’t be completely reversed or the tooth grows back, but it can be remineralized and the cavity can become arrested.
1. Assessing the damage (bitewing x-rays) to decide if cavities in your teeth are eligible for healing or reversing the damage naturally.
If your tooth is already painful that is a strong indication that you may not be eligible for fixing your cavity naturally (without a dentist drilling the tooth). The best-case scenario is early decay caught on bitewing x-rays, and that usually is a proximal cavity (located between teeth) that can’t be seen (yet!) – neither by you nor by your dentist. How to heal cavities naturally without going to the dentist? Well, actually the question should be: how to heal cavities naturally without drilling – dentists may actually be helpful in letting you know how good the chances are that your cavity will heal. Not all dentists are fans of drilling – a good dentist will let you know in advance that a cavity is forming, so that you may act to stop it.
In the previous chapter, we described that the perfect state that we want to achieve is arrested caries. Since lost tooth structure won’t grow back how do you know that you actually arrested a cavity? It’s easy – by comparing x-rays taken at separate occasions, ie. after 6 months. If they look exactly the same after 6 and 12 months it’s a good indication of an arrested caries.
- x-rays are the best way to detect cavities early when there is a great chance of success in healing them naturally
- while panoramic x-rays are good for general information, bitewing x-rays are best to assess tooth decay
- bitewing x-ray is really low-dose radiation and can be safely repeated every 6 months (if your cavities risk is high) or up to every 2 years (if your cavities risk is low)
In some cases, you may be eligible for dental procedures that are drilling alternatives, especially DMG Icon.
2. Topical treatments with ozone or using a tray filled with a remineralizing agent or using fluoride concentrate
Topical treatments are the best way to remineralize early enamel cavities that have not yet penetrated into dentin. We recommend having custom-fit trays made at the dentist (typical night guards but you can use your Invisalign trays as well) and using them to put remineralizing paste every night (so that it stays on your teeth the whole night). This procedure should be repeated daily for a prolonged period of time.
Overnight hydroxyapatite remineralization combined with high-concentration fluoride use for controlled amounts of time is our recommended strategy.
3. Improving your oral hygiene
- tongue scraping
- using Waterpik
- using mouthwash (important: only high pH non-antibacterial type)
- oil pulling
Improving your oral hygiene is beneficial not only in remineralizing existing cavities but also the best strategy to avoid getting new ones.
4. Improving your oral pH levels
It’s all down to pH levels, if your pH levels are below neutral you will be prone to cavities and remineralizing existing ones will be difficult or even impossible.
5. Improving your diet
Diet rich in potassium, sodium, and magnesium plays an important role in cavities remineralization.
Questions & answers
Why do I have new cavities every year?
There are several reasons why you may be developing new cavities every year. One common reason is poor oral hygiene. Cavities are caused by bacterial infection in the teeth, and not brushing and flossing your teeth regularly can allow bacteria to build up and cause cavities. Additionally, certain types of food and drinks can increase your risk of developing cavities. Foods and drinks high in sugar and carbohydrates, such as candy and soda, can feed the bacteria in your mouth and contribute to the development of cavities. If you are developing new cavities every year, we recommend talking to a dentist for advice on how to improve your oral hygiene and reduce your risk of developing cavities.
I keep getting cavities no matter what I do
If you are getting cavities no matter what you do, it may be that you are not practicing good oral hygiene or that you are eating foods and drinks that are high in sugar and carbohydrates. Cavities are caused by bacterial infection in the teeth, and not brushing and flossing your teeth regularly can allow bacteria to build up and cause cavities. Additionally, foods and drinks high in sugar and carbohydrates, such as candy and soda, can feed the bacteria in your mouth and contribute to the development of cavities. If you are having trouble preventing cavities, I recommend talking to a dentist for advice on how to improve your oral hygiene and reduce your risk of developing cavities.
Can cavities self heal?
The answer to this question is mixed. Lost enamel will never grow back, but active cavity can become an arrested cavity, which means it will stop from progressing – with proper diet and hygiene hopefully in some cases it will stay this way forever.
Can you scrape off a very superficial cavity at home?
It is not recommended to try to scrape off a cavity at home. Cavities are the result of tooth decay, which is caused by bacterial infection. Scraping a cavity at home can damage the tooth and potentially cause further infection. Additionally, it is difficult for a person without training and experience to accurately diagnose a cavity and determine the appropriate course of treatment. It is best to visit a dentist to have your teeth checked and to receive treatment for any cavities. A dentist can safely remove the decayed portion of the tooth and fill the area with a dental filling.
Is swishing with magnesium chloride to reverse cavities effective?
There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that swishing with magnesium chloride can reverse cavities. Cavities, or tooth decay, are the result of bacterial infection in the teeth. Once a cavity has formed, it cannot be reversed without dental treatment. The only way to treat a cavity is to remove the decayed portion of the tooth and fill the area with a dental filling. It is important to visit a dentist regularly to have your teeth checked for cavities and to receive treatment as needed. Swishing with magnesium chloride or any other substance will not treat or reverse cavities.
Activated charcoal for cavities
There is no scientific evidence to support the use of activated charcoal for treating cavities. Cavities, or tooth decay, are the result of bacterial infection in the teeth. Once a cavity has formed, it cannot be reversed without dental treatment. The only way to treat a cavity is to remove the decayed portion of the tooth and fill the area with a dental filling. Activated charcoal is a substance that is sometimes used to absorb toxins and chemicals in the body, but it is not effective in treating or reversing cavities. If you have cavities, it is important to visit a dentist for treatment.
Does wheatgrass reverse cavities?
There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that wheatgrass can reverse cavities. Cavities, or tooth decay, are the result of bacterial infection in the teeth. Once a cavity has formed, it cannot be reversed without dental treatment. The only way to treat a cavity is to remove the decayed portion of the tooth and fill the area with a dental filling. Wheatgrass is a type of grass that is sometimes used as a dietary supplement, but it is not effective in treating or reversing cavities. If you have cavities, it is important to visit a dentist for treatment.
How to eat with cavities?
If you have cavities, it is important to take care when eating to avoid causing further damage to your teeth. Here are some tips for eating with cavities:
- Avoid hard, crunchy, and sticky foods: Hard, crunchy, and sticky foods can put pressure on your teeth and cause further damage to the cavities. Avoid eating foods like nuts, popcorn, and chewy candy.
- Cut your food into small pieces: Cutting your food into small pieces can make it easier to chew and reduce the amount of pressure on your teeth. This can help to prevent further damage to your cavities.
- Choose soft foods: Soft foods are easier on your teeth and can help to prevent further damage to your cavities. Try eating soups, mashed potatoes, and yogurt.
- Avoid sugary and acidic foods: Foods and drinks high in sugar and acid can contribute to the development of cavities. Avoid eating sugary snacks and drinks, as well as acidic foods like citrus fruits and tomatoes.
- Drink plenty of water: Drinking water can help to wash away food particles and bacteria from your mouth, which can reduce your risk of developing cavities. Drink water throughout the day, especially after meals.
Remember to brush and floss your teeth regularly and visit your dentist for regular checkups and treatment. These steps can help to prevent the development of new cavities and keep your teeth healthy.
Cavities from stress
There is no direct link between stress and the development of cavities. Cavities are caused by bacterial infection in the teeth, and the bacteria that cause cavities are present in the mouth regardless of a person’s stress levels. However, stress can affect a person’s oral health in other ways. For example, stress can lead to teeth grinding, which can damage the teeth and increase the risk of cavities. Additionally, people who are stressed may be more likely to engage in unhealthy behaviors, such as eating sugary foods and drinks or neglecting their oral hygiene, which can increase the risk of cavities. If you are experiencing a lot of stress, it is important to take care of your oral health by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly and visiting a dentist for regular checkups.
Why does cavity surgery hurt?
Cavity surgery, or dental fillings, can cause discomfort or pain because it involves drilling into the tooth to remove the decayed portion. The dentist will use local anesthesia to numb the area, but you may still feel pressure or discomfort during the procedure. After the anesthesia wears off, you may experience some soreness or sensitivity in the treated tooth. This is normal and should improve within a few days. If the pain is severe or persists for more than a few days, contact your dentist for advice. They may recommend over-the-counter pain medication or a prescription pain reliever to help manage the discomfort.
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Please check back soon as we will update this article on a weekly basis.
This article is still work in progress and was last updated on December 15, 2022.