Incorporating natural products and routines into your lifestyle isn't just a trend of 2019, but an entire revolution that is converting families and individuals everywhere. Finding natural substitutes for commonly used items that boast great health benefits without putting people at risk for health concerns or side effects down the line, is a fad that is here to say. So how about when it comes to dental care and fighting off cavities? We have some natural remedies for that too! Give these a try at home and see the difference!
First, What Are Cavities?
We want to equip you with the proper background info to see the full scope of how natural ingredients are effective in protecting your mouth from cavities. To begin, cavities are small holes that occur in the teeth, caused by decay. This decay is caused by a buildup of of food and bacteria that forms a grimy film on top of your teeth. This is plaque, and if not address, this plaque will cause decay.
Streptococcus mutans is a type of bacteria known to play a role in this decay. Some areas of your mouth are more vulnerable to plaque build up than others, such as the cracks and grooves in the teeth, between the teeth, around any fillings especially if they've been chipped or broken, and closer to the gum line.
Over time, decay reaches down to the tooth's inner layer, called the dentin. At this point, a cavity starts to develop. It's possible to prevent cavities by consistently using home remedies when decay is at the pre-cavity stage. This is when decay has made holes in the tooth's enamel but has not yet reached the dentin level. Once the dentin decays and a cavity starts to form, professional treatment is required.
Cavities must be treated by a professional dentist but there are several remedies and habits we suggest to strengthen tooth enamel at the pre-cavity stage and safe hold the remaining health of your tooth. The process is known as 'remineralizing' and helps to prevent a cavity from forming.
Brushing the teeth twice daily is a tried-and-true method to remineralize tooth enamel and prevent future cavities. Here are a few other ways to help fight off cavities at home that we like:
Aloe VeraTooth gel or dental products that include aloe vera may help to fight off bacteria that cause cavities. The antibacterial effect of this gel kills harmful bacteria in the mouth, according to a 2015 review. Although more scientific research is needed to confirm this, aloe vera gel has been shown to help remineralize enamel at the pre-cavity stage.
A 2013 study concluded that vitamin D supplements helped to reduce the dental cavities significantly. The vitamin may possess a remineralizing effect that helps to strengthen enamel.
Eating Licorice Root
The potent antibacterial properties of licorice root may hone in on the bacteria that causes cavities according to a 2011 study. Another study suggested that sucking on lollipops that contain licorice extract might help prevent cavities also. However, more research is needed before dentists can recommend these lollipops for cavity prevention.
Avoiding Sugary Foods & Drinks
This one is a pretty big given but it's something to keep in mind nonetheless. Consuming sugary products is one of the lading causes of cavities. This is because sugar mixes with bacteria in the mouth and forms an acid which wears down the tooth enamel.
Avoid Phytic Acid
Phytic acid may damage tooth enamel, and some believe that cutting it out of the diet can prevent tooth decay and cavities. A 2004 study found that phytic acid affected the mineral absorption from food but this has not been fully confirmed.
Phytic acid can commonly be found in wheat, rice, rye, pinto, navy, and haircot beans.
Incorporating Sugar-Free Gum
A 2015 study showed that chewing sugar-free gum after meals reduced levels of bacteria that damage enamel. Having less of this bacteria may lead to stronger enamel that is better equipped to withstand decay. We recommend using sugar-free gum or gum that uses xylitol as a natural sweetener.
Oil pulling is a historical system that has been used in ancient, alternative medicine called Ayuerveda. This involves swishing a tablespoon of sesame or coconut oil around in your mouth for a prescribed period before spitting it out.
Oil pulling is not entirely supported by science but research indicates that it can improve tooth health. If oil pulling reduces plaque, this may help to remineralize enamel and prevent cavities. More studies are needed to confirm these effects.
When To See A Dentist
Home remedies may reduce your risk of cavities and reverse damage to enamel during the pre-cavity stage but these remedies should be used alongside dentist-recommended methods and techniques like brushing, preferably with fluoride-free toothpaste.
Not all cavities cause pain, so it is essential to see a dentist regularly.
Dentists can detect cavities at an early stage and recommend preventive action. They may also provide a filling, crown, or other treatment for advanced cases of decay.