A Family Dentist Discusses Ways to Reverse Tooth Decay

A Family Dentist Discusses Ways to Reverse Tooth Decay from Gregory Zabek Advanced General & Cosmetic Dentistry in San Francisco, CAFilling cavities is one of many services that a family dentist provides. Cavities are holes in teeth that occur due to tooth decay. However, if the decay is caught early, it may be possible to reverse it before a cavity forms. Understanding how and why tooth decay happens may make it easier to learn how to prevent or reverse it.

What Causes Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay happens because of acid in the mouth. The human mouth contains hundreds of bacteria. When people consume foods that include carbohydrates and sugars, these foods react with the bacteria to produce acid. The acid coats the teeth with a sticky film called plaque.

Over time, exposure to the acid breaks down the minerals in the tooth. This causes the tooth's surface to become weaker. A family dentist can identify tooth decay with an examination and X-rays. The dentist can also determine how far the decay is advanced. If it is still in the early stages, the dentist may recommend lifestyle changes to prevent the decay from progressing further and causing a cavity.

How Can Tooth Decay Be Reversed?

Making changes in diet or oral hygiene may prove helpful. The following methods have been effective in some cases.

Food and drink

Patients should avoid consuming any food or drink that could promote tooth decay. This includes foods that contain carbohydrates and natural or manmade acids and sugars. Instead, patients should choose helpful foods. Items with naturally occurring probiotics may help control harmful bacteria. Patients should also choose foods that contain vitamins and minerals used to build teeth. Taking supplements of calcium, iron, magnesium and vitamin D may also be useful.

There are two schools of thought about drinking coffee. Some think it should be avoided because it can upset the pH balance in the mouth and promote acid formation. However, others believe that it has helpful antibacterial properties. Individuals looking for a caffeine substitute may wish to try green tea, while those who choose to drink coffee should take it black.

Instead of drinking sugary sodas or juices, patients should drink water instead. Its pH balance neutralizes the acid. It is better to drink tap water than bottled water because the former is fortified with fluoride. Although bottled water may contain fluoride too, it usually is not in sufficient quantities to help with tooth decay.

Hygiene

Since it is a mineral, fluoride helps to build up teeth and protect them from decay. In addition to drinking fluoridated water, patients can help reverse tooth decay by brushing teeth with a toothpaste containing fluoride. A family dentist can also perform fluoride treatments during a routine dental appointment by applying it directly to the teeth in the form of varnish or gel.

To prevent and possibly reverse tooth decay, patients should brush for two minutes at a time twice a day. They should floss at least once a day. Some dentists recommend the use of mouthwash due to its antibacterial properties.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Family Dentist in San Francisco, CA.

Conclusion

These methods may be effective at reversing tooth decay that has not progressed significantly. However, once a cavity forms, it is too late. The patient then requires a filling from a family dentist.

Request an appointment or call Gregory Zabek Advanced General & Cosmetic Dentistry at 415-952-1146 for an appointment in our San Francisco office.

Related Posts

4 Ways To Avoid Getting A Dental Filling

Dental fillingss are not enjoyable procedures, however, they are often necessary to restore teeth that are in bad shape. Thankfully, there are a few ways that patients can avoid having to get a dental filling altogether. Want to learn how to avoid getting a dental filling? This article outlines some important information that can be useful…

How Long Do I Need To Wear ClearCorrect Braces

With more patients seeking alternative methods to traditional braces, aligner systems like ClearCorrect® braces have become popular in recent years. A patient is fitted with custom aligners that are worn for most hours of the day. The trays are usually replaced every two to three weeks. Because the aligners are clear and custom-fitted, patients can…

4 Things Your Dental Practice Wants You To Know About Oral Hygiene

Just about every patient who visits a dental practice will leave with a few tips about oral hygiene. Dental professionals can be a valuable resource for how to keep the mouth healthy and can talk at length about oral hygiene. Here are four things a dentist may want you to know about how to care…