Almost everyone will get a cavity at some point in their lives. And you may be wondering. Is it possible to reverse tooth decay? Can you get rid of your cavity and restore your oral health without the need for a filling?
The answer is yes… and no! It depends on how far along your cavity is, and how soon your dentist identifies it. Read on and learn more in this blog from Sarasota Bay Dental.
It is possible to “reverse” a cavity. But this is only possible during the first stage of tooth decay, which is called “demineralization.” This is the process by which acid slowly erodes your enamel.
Bacteria in your mouth feed on sugars and starches. As part of their digestive process, they excrete acid. This acid slowly weakens your enamel by leaching away minerals like calcium.
Often, this results in “white spots.” As the enamel weakens, you may see very small dots or patches of bright, white enamel. At this stage of decay, cavities have not yet formed, so the decay is reversible.
If your dentist identifies white spots, they may recommend that you brush more frequently, rinse your mouth after meals, and reduce your intake of sugar. Taking these steps can completely reverse cavities.
Your dentist may also recommend fluoride treatment. This involves painting a fluoride-rich gel onto your teeth. Fluoride helps your teeth attract more minerals, and reverses the initial stage of tooth decay.
Dental sealants are also an option. This is a thin layer of clear resin that is applied to one or more teeth, particularly the rear teeth. Once in place, sealants create a barrier that stops further decay. Sealants can last up to 5-10 years, and prevent cavities from forming in treated teeth.
Once your tooth moves past the initial stage of decay, it’s not possible to reverse a cavity. This happens when holes (cavities) begin to form in your teeth. There’s no way to remineralize and repair this hole without the help of a dentist.
In fact, the cavity will only get worse over time, even if you know about it and take steps to maintain great oral hygiene. The hole in your tooth will catch debris like food particles, bacteria, and acid. This will make the hole deeper. In turn, this makes it more likely to catch more debris, further worsening your cavity.
Without proper intervention, this vicious cycle may continue until the cavity has eaten away at your tooth and reached the interior of the tooth, causing a tooth infection that will require root canal therapy.
So if you think that you have a cavity in Sarasota, it’s important to get help right away. A filling or a dental crown is the best way to repair your tooth, restore your smile, and eliminate the risk of any further oral health complications.
If you’re worried that you may have a cavity, early intervention is the best option. Whether your cavity is reversible or not, seeing Dr. Robert Miller at Sarasota Bay Dental will give you peace of mind. So don’t wait. We’re always accepting new patients. Contact us today or give us a call at (941) 200-3723, and Dr. Miller will see you as soon as possible.