With 92% of American adults over 20 and 64 years of experiencing permanent tooth decay , it is not surprising that many people are looking for alternatives to the traditional and expensive 'drill and fill' route.
There are a lot of anecdotal stories that claim that tooth decay has been stopped or reversed by natural methods. But do these approaches work? Is it even possible to cure cavities?
Also known as tooth decay or cavities, tooth decay occurs when certain types of bacteria, which are found in the teeth covering the plaque, produce a harmful acid that erodes and destroys the structure of the tooth.
These bacteria feed on sugar and carbohydrates in order to grow and produce plaque acids. If left untreated, this dental erosion causes pain, infection and loss of teeth.
Dentists blame factors such as poor oral hygiene, junk food and acidic foods and drinks for tooth decay.
Types of Decay
Dental caries can occur in three different ways:
- Root caries - occurs on the surface of the roots. It is more common among older adults who have backward gum lines.
- From pits and fissures decay - occurs on the chewing surfaces of the posterior teeth.
- Smooth surface decay - occurs on the flat outer surface of the teeth when plaque builds up.
Can tooth decay can reverse?
For every person who says tooth decay can be cured, another person states that it is not possible. Let's see what experts and research say.
The first investigations says decay can be cured
A 1932 study , published in the British Medical Journal, suggests that tooth decay and tooth decay can potentially be reversed with diet.
Sixty-two school-age children with cavities were divided into three groups and different diets assigned. It was found that the group that ate a lot of grains had an increase in cavities, while children who ate a grain-free diet and supplemented with vitamin D saw the most important improvements, with many of their cavities healing.
In the 1900s, renowned Dr. Weston A. Price - a dentist in Cleveland, Ohio - studied many indigenous tribes around the world. It is believed that they experienced little decay due to their healthy diets, free of processed foods and phytic acids (an anti-nutrient found in grains), and rich in nutrients, such as fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
These discoveries have inspired many people today to clean their diet in the hope of healing their teeth.
Dentists say significant decay cannot be repaired
However, Dr. Paul Rubin, a pioneer in 'mercury-free' dentistry and with more than 40 years of experience, says that the mechanism for the healing of cavities is simply not there . Rubin also states that the cavity healing stories found online are misleading, or simply fraudulent.
Most other dentists also claim that cavities cannot be repaired because enamel is the only tissue in the body that has no living cells - which means it cannot regenerate.
However, as with many arguments, the truth is probably somewhere in the middle ...
The Truth: Some cavities can be reversedIt is true that certain types of cavities are reversible - a fact all dentists that will be recorded.
This is the case only when caries affects the tooth enamel surface. If a low sugar and low acidity diet is followed, and suitable minerals can be applied and absorbed by the tooth, then these surface cavities can technically be cured.
But once decay progresses to dentin - the layer under the enamel - it is irreversible.
What is interesting is that the enamel is dead tissue, but it can be repaired in some circumstances, while dentin is a sensitive layer of tissue life - however, the decay at this level is said to be irreparable.
Dr. Charles Payet explains that there is usually food stuff too embedded in the deeper cavities to allow the necessary minerals to penetrate. It is not simply possible to force any kind of substance that deep into the tooth to kill acid-producing bacteria and to rebuild the mineral matrix.
Remineralizing Does Not Mean Grow AgainHealing of a cavity that is known as 'remineralizing' (a process that is also referred to as 'arrested decay'). When the tooth is remineralized, that does not mean that the missing part of the tooth simply grows back. The tooth can, however, return to its normal function as decomposition is further prevented.
Author of ' How to stop cavities: A natural approach to prevention and remineralization' , Dr. Benoit Judene compares the healing of a cavity to cut the tip of the finger. The tip will never grow back, but the skin grows on the missing part, preventing infections and functioning normally.
Naturally Remineralize and prevent tooth decay
Follow these steps to remineralize the teeth and stop the first signs of decay, remembering that prevention is always better than cure:
1. Ditch sugar and soda
The American Dental Association explains that tooth decay occurs when foods high in starch or sugar - such as milk, soda, nuts, cakes, or candy - are often left on teeth. Bacteria grow and multiply with these foods, producing the acid that destroys tooth enamel.
Reducing the intake of starchy foods, and avoiding sugary treats and sodas, can go a long way towards protecting the health of your teeth and gums.
Be sure to check out these amazing sources of hidden sugar .
2. Reduce phytate intake
Phytates, or phytic acid, are substances found in grains, beans, lentils, soybeans, nuts and seeds.
A diet high in phytic acid can cause deficiencies of minerals, particularly phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc - all the important nutrients for healthy teeth.
Going grain-free is an option for some, but remember that these foods can be an important part of a well-balanced diet. Once properly prepared, they can help improve satiety, and provide protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Maximize the benefits of these foods and minimize the risks of soaking, germination and / or fermentation of them - a common practice in many traditional cultures.
3. Increase the intake of vitamins and minerals
A healthy diet benefits all parts of the body - including teeth. In particular, your oral health depends on a number of key nutrients:
- Calcium - keeps enamel strong, and reduces the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Sources of calcium include dairy products, canned sardines, kale, kale, broccoli, sesame paste, and fortified drinks such as orange juice and plant-based milks.
- Magnesium - works with calcium to build strong enamel and prevent tooth decay. Sources include green leafy vegetables such as spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
- Vitamin A - helps maintain a healthy saliva flow to manage bacteria levels. Sources include liver and fish oils, green leafy vegetables, orange and yellow vegetables, cantaloupe melon and mango.
- Zinc - prevents the growth of bacteria and plaque buildup. Sources of zinc include shellfish, roasted wheat, cashews, beef, pork, chickpeas and beans, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds.
- Iron - vital for the transport of oxygen throughout the body, too little iron can contribute to infections and the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth. Sources include liver, seafood, beans, tofu, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds, canned sardines in oil, baked potatoes and broccoli.
- Vitamin D - this incredibly important vitamin helps the body use calcium. Sources of vitamin D include egg yolk, meat, shellfish, cod liver oil, fortified foods and, most importantly, sun exposure!
- Phosphorus - protects tooth enamel and helps replace minerals in teeth. Sources include sunflower seeds, beans, tuna, turkey, beef, almonds, rice, potatoes and broccoli.
4. Eat food Teeth friendly
In addition to the nutrient-rich foods mentioned above, some others do not harm your teeth options include crispy fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, celery, raw carrots and cucumber.
These foods have a high water content, which dilutes the effects of the sugars they contain. They also stimulate the production of saliva, which helps protect against tooth decay.
5. The bacteria that cause caries Kill
By practicing good oral hygiene - and brushing at least twice a day and flossing regularly - you will remove the plaque that feeds the acid-producing bacteria.
You can also practice pulling oil , learn how to make your own toothpaste , and try this homemade antibacterial mouthwash .
6. Use of a Remineralizing toothpaste
Apply important tooth minerals directly to the surface of your teeth with a remineralizing toothpaste or remineralizing tooth powder - such as this activated powder remineralizing carbon.
Alternatively, if you like to make your own, this recipe uses calcium powder, diatomaceous earth , baking soda, xylitol, coconut oil and essential oils.
7. Direction Acidity and acid reflux
Acid reflux can be more harmful to teeth than soda, energy drinks and other foods. Surprisingly, most people with heartburn have low levels of stomach acid, rather than too much!
Learn to deal with your stomach acid problems for the health of your teeth.
8. Fix a dry mouth
Saliva is vital for good oral health and digestion. Proper saliva flow helps kill bacteria and contains proteins and minerals to protect tooth enamel and prevent tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath.
Dehydration, certain medications, illness, stress, smoking and old age are risk factors for dry mouth - which can increase the incidence of tooth decay and other oral health problems.