Enamel can repair itself by using minerals from saliva and fluoride from toothpaste or other sources. However, if the decay process continues, more minerals are lost. Over time, the enamel weakens and is destroyed, forming a cavity. A cavity is permanent damage that the dentist must repair with a filling.
Yes, you can reverse cavities, at least the ones that are small. Tooth decay begins with a reduction in the hard mineral content of the enamel (this is called demineralization). Once the enamel has weakened enough and the process moves to the softer dentin, just below the enamel, a hole can begin to form and a cavity will form. Once tooth decay has occurred, there are few methods that can help reverse it, especially if it has been allowed to progress.
However, there are many methods to limit the spread of tooth decay and minimize damage to the teeth. Fluoride treatments are great ways to minimize tooth decay. They can help remineralize teeth, as well as prevent the spread of bacteria. Fluoride treatments are popular methods for strengthening tooth enamel, which is sure to wear out over time.
From fluoride gels to mouthwashes, there are many methods to increase the level of fluoride your teeth are exposed to. If you've heard people say that their teeth grow back where they have cavities, take it with a grain of salt. The cells that make up tooth enamel are physically unable to grow back on their own. If you have an untreated cavity, you should see a dentist as soon as possible before it gets bigger and causes more serious oral health problems.
However, cavities can go away if you interrupt them during the earliest stage of dental demineralization. Techniques for reversing cavities are generally only effective when implemented in the early stages of tooth decay. Because cavities are the result of tooth decay that occurs over time, and are detected early, they can be stopped. Tooth decay and the subsequent development of tooth decay occur when teeth are exposed to acids produced by oral bacteria.
But can cavities be reversed? Our dentist in Lincoln, NE says that small cavities can be reversed, but larger cavities can't and should be repaired.