A lot of different types of bacteria live inside our mouths and form on our teeth in a sticky layer known as dental plaque. Each time we eat and drink anything, these bacteria create acids which can break down the protective layer under the retained plaque. The acid eliminates minerals from the enamel which can cause a cavity if left untreated. Decay starts in the main portion of your tooth (which is the enamel) and the decay can go deeper into the dentin as the enamel is broken down and can, in due course reach the nerve of your tooth.
If you are prone to cavities, don't worry because this issue is preventable in most cases. A healthy diet and regular care of your teeth can be tremendously helpful in warding off this decay of your teeth.
When it comes to keeping your or your family's teeth healthy, it is important to make sure that you (or they) brush and floss properly. But it's just as important to be careful of what you put in your mouth. There is a very long list of foods and drinks that are not good for your teeth or cause damage to your teeth. In fact, they can even obstruct or reverse the effectiveness of your dental routine. That means that even if you'll brush and floss religiously, these foods and drinks can still cause damage to your teeth.
Sugary drinks, such as fruit juices (boxed ones) and soft drinks, are certainly on this list. Although they are easily available and seem like a healthy choice sometimes (in case of boxed juices), make no mistake, they are NOT the best choice. Drinking sugary drinks too much can cause a lot of dental problems, including tooth decay, gum disease, dental cavities and also bad breath.
Well, it is known all over the worlds and you've known it since you were a kid, when your mom would give you scary looks if you had an extra large piece of cake or gobbled down two chocolates in less than two minutes. Regular consumption of sugary foods and beverages is not good for your teeth; even if you occasionally indulge in drowning your sorrows with a bucket of ice cream or share your happiness with friends having huge chunks of cake can have negative effects on your dental and oral health.
Sugary drinks are widely known as one of the most common dietary reasons of tooth decay. When you consume sugary drinks or foods the sugar latches on to your teeth. The bacteria that are usually present inside your mouth feed on the sugar that these drinks leave behind. However, as the bacteria consume all the sugar, it begins to create acid. And in due time the acid begins to rot some of the enamel on your teeth. This ends up making your teeth thinner and weaker. As soon as the enamel starts weakening, the likelihood of you developing cavities becomes much greater.
The best way (and the most obvious one) to curb the tooth decay caused by consuming sugary foods and drinks is to avoid having them whenever possible. Consider other healthier options to quench your thirst (such as water or milk) or your craving for sweet (such as sugar-free products or naturally sweet fruits). Natural fruit juice is another good option to consume a bit of sweetness in a healthy way. But do make sure that you purchase fruit juices with juice content higher than at least 10 percent or better yet, have freshly squeezed fruit juices (and not opt for sugar syrup).
If you feel like you're having a serious craving for sugary drinks or foods then don't hold back, it happens with each one of us, but make sure that you rinse your mouth with water to flush and remove any sugar that remains.
Another good way to hold back cavity caused by sugary things is getting a mouthwash (and toothpaste) that contains fluoride. Why? Because fluoride helps in reducing cavities and strengthening your tooth enamel, so it can provide assistance in reversing the damage caused by such foods and drinks. Even your dentist can apply fluoride on your teeth to protect them from the cavity as well.
Phytic acid (phytate) is basically an enzyme inhibitor and a mineral blocker found in nuts, grains, beans and seeds in our diets that can cause some serious health problems. The main reason why phytic acid has become a cause of many health problems today is because we have abandoned the ancient food preparation techniques, for example, sourdough fermentation or sprouting, which destroys the phytic acid.
About 80 percent of phosphorus present in beans and grains is bound to phytic acid and it is entirely not absorbable. Not only does this acid prevent absorption of minerals in your food, but it also extracts out minerals of your bones and teeth!
The powerful anti-nutritional properties of phytic acid are known to cause lack of appetite, digestive disorders, nutrient deficiencies as well as tooth decay.
The very first phase of dental decay involves plaque formation. Some of the naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth grow vigorously when you have foods and drinks that contain sugar. Now we know that when the sugar isn't cleaned from your teeth, the bacteria feeds on it and produces acids. Then the bacteria and the acids combine with leftover food particles and saliva to form plaque, which is a sticky film that covers up your teeth. When plaque forms on your teeth, the acids wear away the enamel (the tooth's hard outer surface). These small openings in the enamel represent the first stage of cavities.
After this has taken place, the bacteria and acid attack the next layer of your tooth, a softer substance known as dentin.
Bacteria and plaque continue this destruction throughout the tooth until the pulp or the inner tooth material is affected. At this advanced stage, the pulp when affected becomes irritated, and the bone that supports your tooth may get involved as well. When the decay will reach this point, you will start experiencing toothache, sensitivity, and pain when biting something.
Sugar is one of the worst reasons of tooth decay for anyone who wishes cavity-free, healthy teeth. You must avoid having an excess of sugary foods and drinks. Not only does the oral bacteria that resists a healthy flow of the dental fluids feeds on sugar, but it's very acidic and can de-mineralize the structural content of your teeth creating dental decay.
In addition, you can use maple syrup, raw honey and drink juices (but sparingly, because too much sugar contributes to cavity formation). Be mindful of using artificial sweeteners too much because they carry health risks as well. Additionally, make stevia leaves your new substitute for sugar along with raw honey (but in moderation).
Raw dairy products are packed with the minerals and vitamins that assist in a healthy flow of dental fluid and help in maintaining a strong set of teeth and encourage oral wellness. Therefore, it is a great way to achieve cavity free teeth. Besides that, these are loaded with vitamin K2, vitamin D3, calcium, magnesium, fat-soluble vitamins, and phosphorus. It will be really good for your overall health if you can manage to consume raw dairy products at least two times a week.
Oil pulling is an amazing oral detoxification method that has gained considerable popularity in the United States in the last several years. Oil pulling has been used in ancient ayurvedic medicine since ages. You can simply do it by swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth for about 20 minutes. This extremely simple oral detoxification method has been praised for healing almost everything from headaches to gingivitis systemic diseases such as diabetes.
If you find 20 minutes too long and you feel like you cannot do it, then four to five minutes would be good enough.
Try using coconut oil and add a drop or two of tea tree and/or clove essential oils for maximum antifungal and antiseptic power. The best time to try oil pulling is by making it the first thing in the morning immediately after you get out of bed.
Right after swishing the oil mix for as long as you can, rinse your mouth with warm water. You can use salt water for added antimicrobial benefits. Don't worry if the oil mixture that you spit out is slightly milky white or yellow in colour. Lastly, brush your teeth normally.
Keep in mind that this process should be somewhat relaxing and is not to be done in a hurry. So don't feel compelled to swish the oil vigorously in your mouth for the entire time, this might tire you making it impossible to keep going on for 20 minutes, also, you would be bound to get sore jaw muscles. Gently move the oil all over your mouth and through your teeth without swallowing any of it.
Salt is beneficial in treating cavities due to its antibacterial and antiseptic properties. It can help in reducing inflammation, draw out infection (if any), ease pain, and prevent the growth of bacteria in your mouth.
Here's what you can do. Mix one teaspoon of salt in one glass of warm water. Swish a mouthful of this mix, like you swish your mouthwash around in your mouth for about a minute. Try focusing its application on the affected tooth. Follow this method at least two or three times a day till your symptoms subside.
Or you can mix half a teaspoon of salt in a bit of mustard oil or a little lemon juice to get a paste-like consistency. Massage your gums casually and gently with this paste for about a few minutes and finish off by gargling with warm water. Repeat the process twice daily for a couple of days to kill off bacteria.
Garlic is a great source of antibiotic as well as antibacterial properties. You might find it garlic being often recommended as a home remedy for multiple dental problems including tooth decay and cavities. It can provide respite from pains and promote healthier teeth and gums.
Here's what you can do, prepare a paste by crushing three to four garlic cloves and a quarter teaspoon of rock salt. Apply the paste on your infected tooth and let it stay on for about ten minutes then rinse it with water and then use your mouthwash. Repeat this process for at least two times every day for a couple of weeks to reduce cavities.
Alternatively, you can rub garlic oil on the cavity affected tooth to get quick relief from pain that might be caused by the cavity. Also, eating raw garlic on a regular basis can also provide effective results.
Turmeric is used to provide relief from cavity pain in Ayurvedic medicine. It has tremendous antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that assist in keeping your gums healthy as well as prevent tooth decay that occurs due to bacterial infection.
Here's what you can do. Take a little bit of some turmeric powder and apply it on the affected tooth. Let it stay for a couple of minutes and then rinse it out properly with warm water.
Or another thing that you can do is mix a half teaspoon of turmeric powder with a little bit of mustard oil and use it to massage your gums and teeth. Let it stay for about ten minutes or so and then spit it out.
Hi! I’m Gunjan, a self-proclaimed tea fanatic and intrigued with alternative ways to lead a healthy life. I firmly believe that we should take care of our bodies because it’s the only place we live in.