One thing that is common for pretty much any health issue is; the earlier it is detected, the easier and less costly it will be to fix, and this principle definitely applies to tooth decay. Tooth decay is considered to be in its early stage before it progresses past the enamel into the dentin layer where it will require a dental visit to fix.
Although it may be quite difficult to detect tooth decay in it’s early stages due to a lack of noticeable symptoms, if you can catch it early on before it turns into a cavity, it can be fixed just by making simple changes in your daily routines. If instead you wait until the cavity passes through the layers of the tooth, you may require a filling, crown, root canal or tooth extraction, depending how bad it becomes.
Since it normally takes several years for tooth decay to become a cavity, regular visits to a dentist will ensure that it is caught early on through the use of special tools such as x-ray imaging. On this page we will explain some of the treatment options that are available for early stages of tooth decay, including some natural methods that you can do at home.
Dental Recommendations for Early Tooth Decay
When your dentist catches tooth decay on one or more of your teeth before it affects the dentin, they will most likely recommend some sort of fluoride treatment to fix the decay before it becomes worse. Fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel and reverse tooth decay in several ways such as:
- it helps with the remineralisation process ensuring that more enamel is gained than what is lost due to acid attacks
- it mixes with saliva making it more difficult for bacteria in the mouth to produce tooth decaying acids
Some of the treatments that you may get from your dentist to stop tooth decay in its early stages include:
Topical fluoride treatments
This method require visiting a dentist every few months so that they can carefully apply a clear varnish or gel with a high concentration of fluoride in it to the affected teeth. This varnish will help strengthen the tooth enamel, essentially reversing tooth decay, while also strengthening the teeth making them more resistant to further decay.
Fluoride mouth rinse
As an added measure, your dentist may also prescribe a mouth rinse containing higher levels of fluoride than you can buy over the counter. This type of treatment will be used daily to help strengthen and remineralize the tooth enamel. It will have to be used at a different time from brushing to prevent washing away any fluoride that was applied during brushing.
Dentists will recommend this regardless of whether or not you have tooth decay signs. Using toothpaste that contains at least 1300 ppm of fluoride twice a day is known to be a good oral hygiene practice in the fight against tooth decay.
Natural Treatments for Early Tooth Decay
In the later stages of tooth decay, once it reaches the dentin, dental intervention will be required to fix it. Luckily, in the early stages a dental visit is not even required. There are several things you can do at home that will reverse tooth decay by helping your mouth win the mineralization battle.
Make changes to your diet
One of the most effective things you can do in order to reverse tooth decay in the early stages is make sure that you are reducing your intake of food and drinks that contribute to tooth decay and introducing more things into your diet that help strengthen your tooth enamel.
In general, you will want to remove foods that are high in sugars, starch and carbohydrates and start consuming more products that are high in calcium, phosphorous and fiber. This will significantly reduce the production of tooth decaying acids and promote the production of tooth strengthening vitamins and minerals.
Give oil pulling a shot
Oil pulling is an ayurvedic medical technique that has been used for centuries to cure several oral health issues such as tooth decay and gingivitis. It is thought to act like a detoxification of the mouth by using oils with antiseptic properties to kill off any bacteria that is present. Although it has not been endorsed by the Canadian Dental Association due to lack of research, many people swear by it for helping reverse tooth decay.
Here’s how it’s done:
- use a tablespoon of coconut oil, clove oil or any other antiseptic oil
- place it in your mouth and swoosh it around for 20 minutes
- spit it out into the trash and thoroughly rinse your mouth with water
Even if you do give this one a try, keep up your oral hygiene routine as well for maximum effectiveness.