Dental cavities are small holes that form on the hard surface of the teeth. The food that is eaten and the bacteria in the mouth combine to create a buildup on the teeth in the form of a film known as plaque. If the plaque is not removed, it causes tooth decay. Streptococcus mutans bacteria place a vital role in this tooth decay.
The Places Where Plaque Quickly Builds Up
- Grooves, pits, and cracks in the teeth
- Between the teeth
- Close to the gums
- Around any chipped or broken fillings in the teeth
The acids present in the plaque slowly remove the minerals from the enamel, which is a coating of the teeth made up mostly of calcium and phosphate. This erosion of enamel creates tiny holes in the enamel. Over time, the decay or the acid damage reaches the tooth’s inner layer or the dentin from where a cavity starts to develop.
Home remedies to get rid of cavities
Ideally, a cavity should be treated by a dentist. But if they are detected earlier at home, several home remedies help strengthen that the tooth enamel at the pre-cavity stage. This hardening of the tooth enamel is known as remineralizing and prevents cavity formation. A tried and tested way to remineralize the tooth enamel is to brush the teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. A study indicates that high fluoride toothpaste hardens the tooth enamel, thereby significantly giving the teeth much-needed protection to fight decay.
However, some natural home remedies do not contain fluoride and can be used to treat cavities, such as :
- Adding vitamin D to your diet will stop study has shown that cavities are caused due to the lack of vitamin D in the diet. It has been proven that vitamin D helps remove grains products from the diets as they stick to the teeth causing cavities. Thus, including vitamin D in the diet has shown a reduction in cavities.
- Try oil pulling. Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurveda system that uses a tablespoon of sesame or coconut oil to be swirled quickly inside the mouth for a specific or prescribed time. It then has to be spitted out. It is believed from a long time that oil pulling reduces plaque helping to remineralize enamel, thus preventing cavities. One can consider the oil pulling technique to be just the same as using mouthwash.
- Avoid phytic acid in the diet. It is believed that phytic acid may be one reason to damage the tooth enamel as it affects the mineral absorption from food. Cutting phytic acid out of the diet can help in preventing tooth decay and cavities. Phytic acid is primarily found in cereals and legumes, including wheat, rice, maize, and all kinds of beans.
- Arriving sugary foods avoiding sugary foods. According to the World Health Organization, eating sugar is the most critical risk factor for developing dental cavities. They have recommended a reduction in the sugar intake to less than 10% of the day’s total calorie intake. Once the sugar intake reduces, the tooth enamel gets a chance to remineralize, thus preventing cavities.
- Using the extracts from the Chinese licorice plants or roots (Glycyrrhiza uralensis), it is known to fight the bacteria responsible for dental cavities. According to a study, licorice extract effectively reduces the Streptococcus mutans bacteria in the mouth, thus preventing cavities.
- Chewing sugar-free gum after meals has been shown to help remineralise the tooth enamel. This sugar-free come contains xylitol that can stimulate the flow of saliva, raise the pH level of plaque and reduce Streptococcus mutans bacteria. The sugar-free gum consists of a compound called casein phosphopeptide amorphous calcium phosphate (CPP-ACP) that has been known to reduce Streptococcus mutans bacteria better than xylitol-containing chewing gum.
To conclude, these home remedies, such as having vitamin D, licorice lollipops, oil pulling, chewing sugar-free gum, etc., will help prevent the cavities from getting bigger and the formation of new cavities. These remedies can most remineralize the softened or weakened areas of the tooth enamel before a cavity develops. Therefore, the sooner the cavity is detected, the easier it will be to repair it by the dentist.