Can Tooth Decay Be Fixed?

Tooth decay can affect anyone of any age and is one of the most common dental problems out there. However, the question is an important one: Can tooth decay be fixed? Or once tooth decay has set in, is it simply a matter of removing and replacing the affected tooth?

How to stop the damage

The first rule of any medical situation is to make sure the damage is stopped before repair can begin. When suffering from tooth decay, it is important to immediately stop the behavior that may have caused it. Sugar should be removed from the diet as much as possible, and starchy foods and carbohydrates should be limited as well. Starch and carbohydrates break down into sugar, so a big bowl of pasta is pretty similar to a big bowl of candy, as far as your teeth and body are concerned.

The power of vitamins

Vitamin supplements may be able to prevent and even help reverse tooth decay. Iron, magnesium and vitamins like Vitamin D and Vitamin B can help strengthen teeth; in fact, whether you have tooth decay or not, they are a wise addition to any diet.

Vitamins supplements are available anywhere, from the grocery store to online, and are a simple step that could save trouble in the long run.

Manage acidity levels

Sugar is not the only factor in accelerating tooth decay. An often-forgotten element is the pH balance of your mouth, which can be affected by food and drink. Citrus juice (and fruit) and coffee are two of the biggest offenders, drastically increasing acid levels in the mouth, which can accelerate bacteria production (and damage the enamel as well).

Processed foods usually contain a high level of acidity, as can dairy products and fish. Do not eliminate these foods from your diet, but simply limit them, especially during a bout of tooth decay. White and red wine low in phosphorous is not terribly acidic and can still be consumed, though it is wise to limit beer.

Try chewing sugarless gum

Chewing gum is known to produce a lot of saliva, which can prevent the dry mouth that can foster bacterial growth. Saliva can also help manage pH levels, which will help with the acid problem mentioned earlier. Make sure to use sugar-free gum, as sweetened gum will only exacerbate the problem.

Rinse with oil

A new technique called “oil pulling” has been shown to be effective in reducing bacteria and removing plaque. Oil pulling is usually done with coconut or sesame oil. The user swishes the oil around in their mouth for about 15 minutes, and then spits it out. It works kind of like how soap works, as an emulsifier that binds bacteria to the oil, which is then removed from the mouth.

When to consider the dentist

Dentists can help with any kind of tooth decay, of course, and it is always recommended to visit them to get a clearer picture. However, if the tooth decay is severe and is causing pain and swelling, home remedies may not be enough.

Request an appointment in our Naperville office here:

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