So you’re brushing your teeth one day and notice one of your teeth has a dark spot in it: a cavity is forming. What now? Can it be reversed?
The short answer is, yes, in some cases cavities can be reversed if you catch them in time. But to understand how, and when this is even possible, let’s look at how cavities form, and what you can do to prevent and reverse them.
How Are Cavities Formed?
Cavities are a form of tooth decay caused when bacteria start attacking the tooth and produce acid which over time breaks down the minerals of our teeth. Untreated cavities eventually become infected and can even lead to needing a root canal or permanent tooth loss.
But before that happens, cavity formation generally follows a few key steps:
- Demineralization, when acids from bacteria first start interacting with the tooth
- Enamel decay, when holes start to form in the teeth;
- Dentin decay, when the soft tissue beneath the enamel starts to decay;
- Pulp decay, when the infected tissue can begin to affect the nerves and blood vessels inside the tooth.
These are the general stages of cavities formation, however, it’s extremely difficult to establish an exact timeline, as the progression rate is different from patient to patient.
How Can You Reverse a Cavity?
If a cavity is discovered in the demineralization stage, it can generally be reversed. Patients can often treat it with fluoride products which help restore the minerals in the teeth and stop decay in its tracks.
However, even in the beginning stages, it’s still important to see a Fort Worth dentist if you notice the early signs of a cavity. This dental issue doesn’t always form just because of at-home oral care, and you might need more specialized care to treat it, even in its early stages. For instance, your dentist can provide a fluoride treatment that contains a much higher dosage of fluoride than the products you have at home to halt the growth of the cavity.
Can You Prevent Cavities?
Lowering the risk of cavities can be done with a few key steps:
- Brushing at least 2 times a day, and flossing at least once;
- Using fluoride products;
- Drinking plenty of water to flush the mouth of unwanted bacteria and food particles;
- Reducing the consumption of starchy and sugary foods, etc.
However, apart from these lifestyle changes, it’s also important to see the dentist routinely. With their help, you can better stop cavities forming and perhaps even reverse them in their tracks before they affect your overall dental health.
Think You Might Have a Cavity? Vosh Dental Can Help!
If you suspect you may have a cavity forming, don’t wait. The sooner the Vosh Dental team can take a look, the more chances you may have to reserve it.
Book a consultation with Dr. Trisha Patel in Fort Worth today!