To answer this question, you need to understand what a cavity is. A cavity is decay in the tooth, causing an indent or hole, which can cause major dental issues if they are not treated.
Can Cavities Heal Themselves?
Teeth are not like bones. Bones heal over time when they are broken, but teeth can only use the minerals found in your saliva or topical products to re-mineralize. Can cavities heal themselves? Technically, no, however, the better question might be, “Can you remineralize a cavity?”
Can You Re-mineralize a Cavity?
Yes, and no. There is little evidence to suggest that remineralization can make cavities disappear, but taking steps to remineralize your teeth may stop the cavity from growing. A cavity which has stopped growing is called an arrested cavity. Will remineralization fill in the hole left by a cavity? No. While smaller arrested cavities may not need a filling, larger ones will likely need to be filled. If your cavities are small and cause you no discomfort, your dentist might choose to compare x-rays from two visits to determine whether the cavity is active or arrested before performing any dental work.
How Can I Prevent Further Tooth Decay?
The health of your teeth can be impacted by your health and lifestyle; what you eat, stress levels, pregnancy, and sleep patterns. Eating a diet rich in calcium and minerals, avoiding sugary foods and drinks, taking vitamins (especially when pregnant), reducing stress levels and having a good dental hygiene routine will help prevent further tooth decay.
**TIP: If you have a small cavity and your dentist has decided to wait to see if it’s active or arrested, using a high-fluoride mouthwash or topical treatment is a great way to prevent further tooth decay. If you are concerned about the amount of fluoride in the mouthwash, a balanced approach might be to dip some braided floss into the mouthwash when you floss your teeth.
Afraid to See The Dentist?
Fear of the dentist should not hold you back from receiving the care you need to avoid bigger problems in the future. Contact our sedation dentistry office today to receive more information.