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Medikoe Health Expert

  Koramangala, bengaluru, karnataka, india, Bengaluru     Feb 9, 2017

   4 min     


What is Cavity?

A cavity is decaying of the tooth. Cavities are permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of your teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes. Tooth decay or also known as dental cavities is influenced by our oral hygiene levels, foods consumed and our everyday lifestyle. Heredity also plays a role in how susceptible you are to tooth decay.

Cavities, also called tooth decay or caries, are caused by a combination of factors, including bacteria in your mouth, frequent snacking, sipping sugary drinks and not cleaning your teeth well. 

There are three types of cavities-

  1. Coronal cavities- they are formed on chewing surfaces or between teeth.

  2. Root cavities- with age, gums recede leaving some parts of the tooth exposed making these parts susceptible to cavities.

  3. Recurrent cavities- they form around existing fillings and crowns because of their tendency to accumulate plaque. which leads to tooth decay.

Symptoms/Signs of cavities-

The signs and symptoms of cavities vary, depending on their location. When a cavity is just beginning, you may not have any symptoms at all. 

As the decay gets larger, it may cause signs and symptoms such as:

  • Toothache, spontaneous pain or pain that occurs without any apparent cause

  • Tooth sensitivity

  • Mild to sharp pain when eating or drinking something sweet, hot or cold

  • Visible holes or pits in your teeth

  • Brown, black or white staining on any surface of a tooth

  • Pain when you bite down

Home Remedies for Cavities-

Cavities are small holes in the teeth caused by decay. Several home remedies can prevent this decay or stop it before it forms a cavity. Some home remedies you can apply are:

  • Oil pulling: Oil pulling originated in an ancient system of alternative medicine called Ayurveda. It involves swishing a tablespoon of sesame or coconut oil around in the mouth for a prescribed period, then spitting it out.
  • Aloe vera: Aloe vera tooth gel may help to fight off bacteria that cause cavities. The antibacterial effect of this gel kills harmful bacteria in the mouth.
  • Avoid phytic acid: Phytic acid may damage tooth enamel, and some believe that cutting it out of the diet can prevent tooth decay and cavities. Phytic acid is most commonly found in cereals and legumes, for example, maize, wheat, kidney beans, haricot beans, pinto beans, and navy beans, etc.
  • Vitamin D: The vitamin may have a mineralizing effect, which helps to strengthen tooth enamel.  Vitamin D supplements helped to reduce the incidence of dental cavities significantly.

Preventing Cavities-

  • Brush twice a day

  • Regular check-ups with the dentist

  • Using fluoride toothpaste

  • Rinsing with a mouth wash

  • Flossing regularly

How to heal cavities?

  1. Eat foods with natural probiotics: Because bad bacteria associated with infection look for places to hide in the small areas between the teeth, consuming probiotics helps to offset the acidic pH. Foods rich in probiotics include kombucha, kefir and fermented foods like kimchee and sauerkraut. These foods stimulate the production of healthy bacteria in the mouth needed to prevent plaque buildup and dental decay.

  2. Develop a new oral care regime: Oil pulling is believed to create a soap-like cleansing on teeth with moisturizing and antiseptic capabilities. It consists of swishing an oil (i.e. sesame, sunflower or coconut oil) for about 10-20 minutes in the mouth to reduce plaque buildup. You mustn’t swallow the oil and brush your teeth afterward. Oil pulling has been shown to reduce plaque and gingivitis in one month.

  3. Change your diet and reduce your sugar intake: Easy adjustments can be made to your diet immediately like:

  • Consuming more calcium-rich foods (i.e. kale, collards, broccoli rabe, and dairy) can help strengthen your bones and teeth.
  • Avoid drinking pop, juice, and drinks with high carbonation as the sugars cause excessive plaque and tartar build-up which may result in cavities.

Cavities in kids are more common but adults are also at risk, depending on their oral hygiene levels. Only your dentist can tell for sure if it is a cavity because they develop below the tooth surface. The bacteria consume the sugars and secrete acids that destroy the tooth as they eat into it. As the enamel is eaten away, after a while, the cavity is formed. Toothaches, pain while chewing and sensitivity to certain foods are symptoms of cavities.

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Tags:  Dental treatments,oral hygiene ,Cavities, dental treatments, oral hygiene

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