The dental cavity is not just the hole in the tooth – cavity is the result of a long tooth decay process that happens over time. So don’t consider a hole to end there as a hole, you can lose your natural teeth due to tooth decay. But, did you know that you can reverse the effect of tooth decay and avoid a cavity?
A smile should not be compromised at any cost. This is why general care and knowledge is more important than cure. Let’s understand in detail how a tooth decay process starts and how you can reverse it – cavities and tooth decay can lead to dental caries, you definitely don’t want to end up there!
What’s Inside Your Mouth?
Apart from teeth, the mouth has bacteria, hundreds of various types living in your gums, teeth, tongue and in every inch of your mouth space. Yes, some bacteria are helpful. But there are those that are waiting anxiously for conditions where they can jump in and play the role – tooth decay process.
Tooth decay results from the infection caused by a certain type of bacteria that uses sugar in food for making acid. These acids are harmful and can make cavities in teeth.
What Actually Happens Inside Your Mouth, The Entire Day?
Your mouth has a tug of war going on throughout the day.
The teams include: A dental plaque team – colorless, sticky film of bacteria – and drink and foods that contain starch or sugar (bread, candy, cookies, bread, milk, soda, and other as well). Such food is used up by bacteria for producing acid; as a result the acid eats away the outer surface (enamel) of the teeth.
The second team is all minerals in saliva – phosphates and calcium and water, fluoride form toothpaste etc. This team is the good team and fights for keeping the enamel or helping it to repair it.
Our teeth, just like most of other cell activities, go through the natural process of losing minerals and regaining them. This process of losing and gaining takes place during the entire day.
How Does a Cavity Develop?
When your tooth is exposed to acid consistently – from food as fizzy drinks and sugary food –the repeated attack of acids cause the enamel to lose minerals and break. The sign of very early decay is represented by a white spot.
Tooth decay can be stopped at this point and be reversed as well. Enamel can repair itself by picking minerals from fluoride, saliva and other sources.
But, in case if the decay process is overlooked and it continues, more minerals will be lost. Enamel will become weak and get destroyed, forming a cavity as a result. Cavity is the final stage where your dentist will only help by repairing the damage with a filling.
So What Can You Do to Help Teeth Win the Tug of War and Avoid Cavity Formation?
Use Fluoride – Fluoride is a mineral available in various forms. It helps preventing the tooth from decaying and progressing. It is helpful in early stopping or reversing of the effect. It prevents the tooth from losing minerals and reduces the ability of bacteria to produce acid.
You can increase Fluoride intake by drinking water from community water supply, by brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, after the recommendation of a dentist you can use fluoride gel, fluoride mouth rinse are available at pharmacies, and regular dentist visits.
The Right Diet – Your diet plays a significant role in maintaining an overall health, but a good diet is also essential in keeping your natural teeth and preventing the cavities to form. Especially for your children, remember that diet is very important in preventing cavities.
Each time you make choice of starchy and sugary foods, you will have bacteria in your mouth producing acids. These acids eat away tooth enamel. Our saliva also plays an important role in fight off acid, but a continuous intake of sugar and starches will make acids win the tug of war. Keep a close watch of what you eat.
Talk to Your Dentist – Dr. Jordan Balvich at Rensselaer Dentist believes in creating nothing less than beautiful smiles and therefore advice on visiting your dentist regularly. Proper dental care and regular dental visits can prevent any condition from appearing and keep the natural teeth alive.
However, if such a case arrives, Dental sealants are another way of coating the teeth. Sealants are thin coating painted into the surfaces at the back of teeth. They help, because chewing surfaces are where the food gets stuck and cannot be easily removed, thus sealants protects these places.