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Dentistry

What is bad breath (halitosis)?

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An approximate 25 percent of individuals are affected by bad breath. There are a variety of potential causes of halitosis, but oral hygiene is responsible for the vast majority.

It is sometimes referred to as fetor oris, or halitosis. Halitosis can cause severe discomfort, humiliation, and anxiety, but it can be remedied relatively quickly.

The possible origins of bad breath, diagnosis and how to treat it will be explored in this post.

Important Facts about Bad Breath

Some key points on bad breath are here. The main article provides more comprehensive and supporting material.

  • It is estimated that bad breath affects 1 in 4 individuals globally.
  • Poor oral hygiene is the most prevalent cause of halitosis.
  • If food particles are left in the mouth, sulfur compounds are formed by their breakdown by bacteria.
  • It can reduce mouth odor by keeping the mouth hydrated.
  • Daily brushing, flossing, and hydration are the best remedies for bad breath.

Definition

bad breath (halitosis)

A common issue that can cause severe psychological distress is bad breath. A variety of prospective causes and therapies are available.

Anyone can suffer from bad breath. 1 in 4 individuals are estimated to have bad breath on a daily basis.

Halitosis, after tooth decay and gum disease, is the third most common factor that people seek dental treatment.

The problem can also be solved by easy home remedies and lifestyle improvements, such as enhanced oral hygiene and quitting smoking. However, if bad breath continues, seeing a doctor to search for underlying causes is advisable.

Treatment

Strong oral hygiene is the safest technique to minimize halitosis. This allows the prevention of cavities and decreases the risk of gum disease.

Twice a year, it is recommended that people visit the dentist for a check-up and cleaning.

A toothpaste that contains an antibacterial agent or antibacterial mouthwash may be recommended by the dentist.

Alternatively, professional cleaning may be required to flush out the build-up of bacteria in pockets between the gums and teeth if gum disease is present.

Causes

Possible causes of bad breath include:

  • Tobacco: Tobacco products produce mouth odor of their own kind. In addition, they increase the chances of gum disease that can cause bad breath as well.
  • Food: Odors can be caused by the breakdown of food particles trapped in your teeth. Some foods can also cause bad breath, such as onions and garlic. Their breakdown products are transferred to the lungs in the blood after they are digested, where they can influence the breath.
  • Dry mouth: Saliva cleans the mouth naturally. Odors can build up if the mouth is normally dry or dry because of a particular disease, such as xerostomia.
  • Dental hygiene: Brushing and flossing ensure that tiny particles of food that can build up and break down slowly and create odor are eliminated. When brushing is not routine, a layer of bacteria called plaque builds up. This plaque can irritate the gums and, called periodontitis, cause inflammation between the teeth and gums. Also, dentures that are not regularly or adequately washed can harbor halitosis-causing bacteria.
  • Crash diets: Halitosis can be produced by fasting and low carbohydrate eating programs. This is due to the breakdown of chemicals called ketones, which contain fats. There’s a heavy fragrance to these ketones.
  • Drugs: Some medicines may decrease saliva and, therefore, increase odor. As they breakdown and release chemicals in the breath, other drugs can produce odors. Nitrates used to treat angina, certain chemotherapy chemicals, and some tranquilizers, such as phenothiazines, are examples. Individuals who take large doses of vitamin supplements can also be prone to bad breath.
  • Conditions of the mouth, nose, and throat: Small, bacteria-covered stones may often grow on the tonsils at the back of the throat and cause odors. Infections or inflammation may also cause halitosis in the nose, mouth, or sinuses.
  • Foreign body: If they have a foreign body lodged in their nasal cavity, especially in children, bad breath may be induced.
  • Diseases: Due to the unique mix of chemicals they make, certain cancers, liver failure, and other metabolic diseases may cause halitosis. Because of the regular reflux of stomach acids, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause poor breath.

Rarer causes of bad breath
The most common explanation for bad breath, as described earlier, is oral hygiene, but other situations may also be to blame.

More rare causes of bad breath are:

  • Ketoacidosis: When people with diabetes have extremely low levels of insulin, their bodies can no longer use sugar and start using fat stores instead. Ketones are produced and build up when fat is broken down. When present in large quantities, ketones can be poisonous and produce a distinctive and unpleasant breath odor. Ketoacidosis is a disease that is extreme and possibly life-threatening.
  • Bowel obstruction: If there has been a prolonged period of vomiting, breathing may smell like feces, especially if there is a bowel obstruction.
  • Bronchiectasis: This is a long-term disease in which the airways are wider than normal, causing mucus to accumulate, resulting in bad breath.
  • Aspiration pneumonia: A swelling or infection in the respiratory system or airways due to inhaling vomit, saliva, food, or liquids.

Symptoms

Depending on the cause of the problem, the exact breath odor may vary. Asking a good friend or relative to gauge your mouth odor is best, as it can be hard to test it yourself.

One way of testing the odor if no one is available is to lick your wrist, leave it to dry, and then smell it. It is possible that a foul smell in this region of the wrist would indicate that you have halitosis.

Even though they may have little or no mouth odor, certain individuals are worried about their breath. This condition is known as halitophobia and can lead to mouth-cleansing behavior that is obsessive.

Home treatments

Bad breath Oral hygiene Treatment
The secret to most problems of bad breath is oral hygiene.

Other improvements to diets and home remedies for bad breath include:

  • Clean your teeth: Make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day, preferably after every meal.
  • Floss: Flossing from between the teeth eliminates the build-up of food particles and plaque. Brushing cleans just about 60 percent of the tooth’s surface.
  • Clean dentures: Anything that goes into your mouth should be washed as prescribed on a regular basis, including dentures, a bridge, or a mouth guard. Cleaning keeps the bacteria from building up and going back into the mouth. For similar reasons, changing your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months is also necessary.
  • Brush tongue: The tongue normally accumulates bacteria, food, and dead cells, especially in smokers or those with a particularly dry mouth. A tongue scraper can be helpful at times.
  • Stop mouth dryness: Drink plenty of water. Stop tobacco and alcohol, all of which dehydrate the mouth. It may help stimulate saliva development by chewing gum or sucking a sweet one, ideally sugar-free. If the mouth is chronically dry, medicine that promotes saliva flow can be administered by a doctor.
  • Diet: Avoid garlic, onions, and spicy foods. Sugary foods are linked to poor breath as well. Lower the intake of coffee and alcohol. It can help to clean the back of the tongue by eating a breakfast that includes rough food.

If, after monitoring these variables, breath odor remains, it is recommended that a person visits a doctor for further testing to rule out other conditions.

Diagnosis

Sometimes, on a six-point severity scale, a dentist can literally detect a person’s breath with suspected halitosis and rate the odor. As this region may also be a source of the aroma, the dentist may scratch the back of the tongue and smell the scrapings.

There are a number of specialized detectors that can more accurately measure odor.

They include the following:

  • Halimeter: This detects sulfur levels that are low.
  • Gas chromatography: Three volatile sulfur compounds are calculated by this test: hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan, and dimethyl sulfide.
  • BANA test: This test tests the concentrations of a particular enzyme released by halitosis-causing bacteria.
  • Beta-galactosidase test: It has been found that levels of the beta-galactosidase enzyme associate with mouth odor.

Then the dentist will be able to determine the possible cause of the bad breath.

Dentistry

Cleaning a retainer: 8 effective guidelines

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The majority of people would never go days without cleaning their teeth. Many retainer wearers, on the other hand, go for lengthy periods of time without cleaning their devices.

Bacteria that grows on teeth can also develop on a retainer. As a consequence, wearing a dirty retainer is like placing a bacteria- and plaque-laden solution on your teeth and gums.

There are a few basic ways provided here that can aid people who don’t know how to clean retainers. If a person has concerns regarding the hygiene of their retainer, they should always consult their dentist or orthodontist first.

Guidelines

cleaning a retainer
Brushing the retainer with a soft-bristled toothbrush is recommended, and it should be removed and washed afterward.

Here are eight techniques to help people keep their retainers clean and bacteria-free.

1. Water for cleaning on the go

While water alone will not clean a retainer, drinking sufficient of water throughout the day can help to avoid bacteria development. Preventing harm to a retainer is as simple as keeping it wet. A dry mouth, which is connected to tooth decay, is also combated by water.

If a retainer seems unclean, a person can swirl some water around in their mouth a few times to clean it.

Soda and other sugary drinks may harm a retainer in the same way that they harm teeth. Before drinking a sweet beverage or eating anything, people should remove their retainer.

Retainers that have dried out are more vulnerable to breakage. As a result, no one should let this happen, especially not overnight. When removing a retainer, soak it in pure water instead.

If there isn’t anything else to put the retainer in, or if it’s unclean and can’t be cleaned immediately away, a person can soak it in a moist paper towel until it can be cleaned.

2. Toothpaste

People should wash their retainers as well as their teeth when brushing their teeth. A soft-bristled toothbrush and non-whitening toothpaste are recommended. After that, take out the retainer and properly rinse it.

After removing the retainer, people should brush their teeth again to clean any areas that were covered by it.

3. Denture cleaner

It’s okay to clean a retainer with denture cleanser every now and again, especially if you don’t have any other options. Denture cleanser, on the other hand, can color a retainer yellow over time.

People should rinse their retainers before soaking them in denture cleanser for around 20 minutes. They should then gently clean it with a gentle toothbrush after removing it.

If the retainer still tastes like denture cleaning after rinsing, keep washing until it doesn’t.

4. Baking soda

Baking soda
Baking soda may be used as a disinfectant to kill germs while causing no damage to the mouth.

Baking soda is an all-purpose disinfectant that is both safe and effective. It may also aid in the whitening of yellowed retainers. Baking soda kills bacteria without using harsh chemicals, and it helps keep a retainer from causing harmful pH imbalances in the mouth.

People should make a paste using half water and half baking soda to utilize baking soda. The consistency of the slurry should be thick enough to adhere to the retainer.

The retainer may then be carefully scrubbed with the liquid and a soft toothbrush, exactly like toothpaste. Residue should be removed by properly washing the retainer.

5. Vinegar

White vinegar is a mild disinfectant that may be used to get rid of smells and residues.

People should make a combination of half white vinegar and half warm water in a small dish to clean a retainer with vinegar. After that, immerse the retainer in the mixture for 20 minutes.

A gentle toothbrush can be used to scrape the retainer clean if it is coated in a film or mineral deposits. It should be immersed for another 20 minutes after being washed with cold water.

Because vinegar has a strong odor, people who use this technique may prefer to clean their retainer outside. The smell of vinegar can also be reduced by using a disposable dish.

6. Castile soap

Many other cleaning products are more harmful than castile soap. People can manufacture their own with an olive oil and coconut soap solution, although castile soap is widely accessible.

People should use a tiny bit of castile soap in warm water to clean their retainers. The retainer may then be dipped in the solution and scrubbed with a toothbrush.

Allow the retainer to soak for 2-3 minutes before scrubbing it again if required. After that, rinse it with cool water before putting it back in your mouth or putting it in distilled water.

7. Mouthwash

Mouthwash is a mouthwash that is used to remove plaque, germs, and other deposits from the mouth. If no other choices are available, it can also be used to clean a retainer.

Cleaning a retainer with mouthwash every time is not ideal and may not clean it well enough. Mouthwash with alcohol can dry up a retainer as well as the mouth.

People might try immersing a retainer in non-alcoholic mouthwash for 2-3 minutes, rinsing with cold water, and gently brushing with a soft toothbrush if no other choices are available.

8. Retainer cleaner

Retainer cleansers are available from some manufacturers. These items are a cheap choice for people who do not have the time or inclination to build their own solution.

It’s important to follow the instructions on the package. A sonic cleaning machine or overnight soaking are required for a select varieties. Others should not be worn with certain types of retainers or by people who have sensitive teeth or gum disease.

An orthodontist may be able to suggest a retainer cleaner that is tailored to your specific needs.

When should you clean your retainer?

Every time they brush their teeth, people should gently brush their retainer with a soft-bristled brush. Once a week, a more thorough cleaning should be performed.

Here are various indicators that a person’s retainer needs to be cleaned:

  • it has been more than a week since it was cleaned
  • the retainer smells or tastes bad
  • there are white spots on the retainer.
  • the retainer looks cloudy
  • there is a film on the retainer

Mineral buildup (tartar), plaque that causes cavities in teeth, or a combination of the two might cause white spots.

A retainer that keeps breaking or cracking is another symptom that it needs to be cleaned. Bacteria may harm a retainer in the same way that they can damage teeth.

There might be a problem with a person’s retainer if they start experiencing cavities, tooth sensitivity, or other oral health issues all of a sudden. If this happens, they should talk about their dentist or orthodontist about correct retainer maintenance and get the retainer fitted properly.

Myths about retainer cleaning

On the internet, there are many myths concerning oral health and retainer maintenance.

A dentist should be consulted before a retainer is brushed.
Before brushing a retainer, a dentist should be consulted.

The following assertions should not be believed:

  • Retainers remain clean as long as you brush your teeth frequently and do not eat while wearing them.
  • Cleaning solutions for retainers are harmful to your retainer and teeth.
  • Without cleaning, probiotics or other supplements will keep your mouth and retainer healthy.
  • Cleaning your retainer interrupts the growth of healthy bacteria, which is necessary for it to function properly.

Brushing a retainer is also thought to scrape it, according to some people. True, certain retainers should not be brushed, however brushing is OK if one receives authorization from their dentist.

Sources:

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27629261
  • http://www.dentalplans.com/dental-information/how-to/clean-retainers
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317894
  • http://www.dentakit.com/howtoclyorea.html
  • http://lasvegasbraces.com/tips-cleaning-retainers/

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Dentistry

What you should know about wisdom teeth that are impacted

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Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the final teeth that emerge from an adult’s full set of teeth. These teeth don’t always emerge correctly. Dentists call them impacted wisdom teeth when this happens.

Adults have 32 teeth on average. Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the final to emerge. They occur in the rear of the mouth, near the end of the upper and lower gums.

Wisdom teeth usually appear in late adolescence or early adulthood, between the ages of 17 and 21. When they first arise, they normally do not cause any difficulties, until they become caught beneath the gums or in the jaw.

What are they?

impacted wisdom teeth

Because the human mouth does not have enough capacity for 32 teeth, including the four wisdom teeth, wisdom teeth can cause crowding, infections, ear ache, and swelling.

People usually have four wisdom teeth. Individuals might have anything from one to four, and in rare situations, more than four.

Wisdom teeth that do not fully emerge into the mouth due to a tiny jaw or mouth with an excess of teeth do not come through. Crowding, infections, ear ache, and edema can all result from this.

Wisdom teeth can also emerge in an unusual manner, such as sideways, at an unusual angle, or only partly. Wisdom teeth that are positioned incorrectly can cause pain and harm to neighboring teeth. Even if there is no visible damage, wisdom teeth’s angle and location leave them vulnerable to disease and bacteria accumulation, which can lead to infection and decay.

Most people do not need to have their wisdom teeth out if they maintain adequate dental hygiene. If a person or dentist sees alterations in the mouth, they may need to be removed.

Symptoms

A wisdom tooth that is impacted might create a variety of issues. These are some of them:

  • gum or jaw pain
  • damage to adjacent teeth
  • tooth decay
  • gum disease
  • infection
  • red, swollen gums
  • pressure
  • discomfort
  • cysts

Furthermore, impacted wisdom teeth might push against neighboring teeth, causing crowding. Straightening crooked teeth may necessitate orthodontic treatment.

A cyst can form when a tooth grows into a sac in the jawbone that fills with fluid. The cyst has the potential to harm the jawbone, as well as adjacent teeth and nerves.

A noncancerous tumor growth may occur in rare cases, necessitating surgery to remove tissue and bone.

If something is pressing against the second molar, which is adjacent to the wisdom teeth, it becomes more prone to infection.

It may be more susceptible to infections as a result of its position, which can lead to:

  • swollen gums, which may be redder than usual
  • swollen jaw
  • bleeding gums
  • bad breath
  • earache
  • headache
  • a strange taste in the mouth,
  • toothache

Cellulitis of the cheek, tongue, or throat is a more dangerous illness. Gingivitis, or gum disease, is another condition that occurs when plaque produces toxins that irritate the gums.

The solutions listed below may help to alleviate symptoms.

  • Pain medicines can help reduce pain, but they should be swallowed rather than left on the injured tooth.
  • Soreness and inflammation can be reduced by gargling with warm water and a teaspoon of salt several times a day.
  • Chlorhexidine, an antibacterial mouthwash, can aid in the prevention of illnesses.

If the pain does not go away, a person should seek medical help.

The teeth may be cleaned and antibiotics prescribed by a dentist, but if the disease recurs, the teeth may need to be removed.

Impacted wisdom teeth removal

Third molars that have been linked to disease should be removed, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS). In the event of difficulties, the AAOMS suggests that practitioners keep a close eye on wisdom teeth.

If a wisdom tooth causes pain or discomfort, or if it affects or threatens to destroy the neighbouring teeth or jaw bone, a dentist may prescribe extraction.

Practitioners cannot correctly identify which wisdom teeth may produce problems in the case of asymptomatic impacted wisdom teeth. The angle at which the tooth erupts and how it presses against neighboring teeth, on the other hand, might provide hints.

Is it necessary to remove all wisdom teeth?

When wisdom teeth are healthy, completely erupted, and in the proper locations, and a person can readily clean them, dentists frequently leave them alone.

Many dentists and oral surgeons in the United States, however, recommend removing impacted wisdom teeth to avoid infection, such as gum disease and tooth rot.

According to an AAOMS study, having a wisdom teeth is more likely to affect periodontal health than not having one.

If impacted wisdom teeth are preventing the development of the other teeth, a dentist should remove them.

People used to have their wisdom teeth removed regardless of whether or not they were creating difficulties. The question of whether to remove teeth that are not producing symptoms or leave them alone is currently being debated.

However, according to a research from 2021, just 28% of third molars were extracted, with 76.4 percent having acceptable causes.

In a 2017 research, over half of the people who were referred for surgery had no symptoms, while 36% were referred for preventative reasons.

What to Expect When You Visit the Dentist

If surgery is required, an oral surgeon will remove the wisdom tooth. An X-ray of the entire mouth will be taken by the dentist to check where the roots are located and how the tooth is growing.

The extraction might take place in a dentist’s office or as an outpatient procedure at a hospital. The simplicity of the procedure will be determined by the position of the tooth or teeth that must be extracted.

A healthcare practitioner will first assess a person’s allergies, current medical issues, and intolerances before to the procedure. They’ll also clean the operation room and the patient’s mouth.

To lessen the chance of infection, some doctors may additionally recommend the patient to take antibiotics before and after surgery.

To numb the tooth and the surrounding region, the dentist will administer a local anesthetic. The tooth and bone will next be exposed by making an incision in the gums. They will next split the tooth into parts with a dental drill to make it simpler to remove.

It’s important to unwind and avoid drinking and smoking for at least 24 hours to avoid bleeding complications.

Causes of impacted wisdom teeth

Because of a shortage of room in the mouth, wisdom teeth frequently get impacted or lodged in the jaw bone or gums.

Another typical cause is teeth that emerge at an odd angle. Genetics may have a role in the location of upper wisdom teeth, according to a 2018 research.

Depending on how the teeth grow, wisdom teeth that have been impacted can grow in a variety of ways:

  • Distoangular impaction: This means the wisdom tooth grows at an angle towards the back of the mouth.
  • Horizontal impaction: This means the wisdom tooth grows at a 90-degree angle and into the roots of the molar next to it.
  • Mesioangular impaction: This means the wisdom tooth grows at an angle towards the front of the mouth.
  • Vertical impaction: This refers to when the wisdom tooth does not break through the gum line.

Complications of surgery

Swelling, bleeding, bruising, and discomfort are frequent side effects of wisdom tooth extraction, although they are usually not significant.

However, issues such as the ones listed below may develop.

Dry socket

A dry socket, also known as alveolar osteitis, occurs when a blood clot fails to develop adequately in the socket after the wisdom teeth is extracted. It can also happen if the clot breaks loose before the incision heals.

It affects up to 38% of people who have wisdom teeth removal.

This can result in excruciating agony. Patients who do not follow the dentist’s recommendations, smoke, rinse the region too soon after surgery, sucke on it, or touch it with their tongue are the most common causes.

Nerve damage

During the removal operation, nerves may be injured. Nerve damage can cause numbness or paralysis in the lip, tongue, or cheek, depending on the nerve involved.

This is usually just transitory, but if the damage is serious enough, it can become permanent.

Damage to adjacent teeth

Around one out of every 100 people may have long-term consequences from the surgery, including damage to neighbouring teeth. This, however, is highly dependent on the surgery’s scope.

Fracture

The maxillary tuberosity, which is located directly beneath the top wisdom teeth, might be fractured if the wisdom tooth is extracted.

A lower jaw fracture, also known as a mandibular fracture, can happen during surgery or within four weeks after it.

Conclusion

A wisdom tooth that does not emerge correctly from the gums is referred to as an impacted wisdom tooth by dentists. Gum and jaw pain, swollen gums, and overall discomfort are all possible outcomes.

An people can take pain medicines, rinse their mouth with a saline solution, or use an antimicrobial mouthwash to assist alleviate these symptoms.

If a person’s wisdom teeth becomes impacted, he or she should see a dentist, who may recommend extraction. To avoid issues such as dry socket, an individual should follow all of the care recommendations provided by the dentist after surgery.

Source:

  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0020653920318578
  • https://synapse.koreamed.org/articles/1092050
  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2049080121005896
  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0278239118304269
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/188660
  • https://www.aaoms.org/images/uploads/pdfs/executive_summary.pdf
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279590/
  • https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/w/wisdom-teeth

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Complementary Medicine / Alternative Medicine

How to get rid of cavities naturally at home

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Cavities are tiny holes in the teeth that form as a result of tooth decay. Several home treatments might help prevent or halt tooth decay before it becomes a cavity.

Food and germs build up on the teeth’s surface and along the gumline, forming a sticky film. This is referred to as “plaque.”

When a person eats, plaque bacteria create acids, which can cause cavities. Streptococcus mutans is a bacterium that contributes to tooth decay.

If plaque isn’t removed by a person or a dentist, it can cause the following problems:

  • lead to tartar formation
  • destroy the bone supporting the teeth
  • cause tooth decay and gum infections (gingivitis)

Plaque accumulates more quickly in sites like:

  • around any fillings, particularly when they are chipped or broken
  • close to the gum line
  • cracks, pits, and grooves in the teeth
  • between the teeth

Cavities

cavities removal
Human tooth with caries, hole and tools. Dental searching concept. Teeth or dentures. 3d illustration

Cavities are holes in teeth that are also known as tooth decay or caries. They occur when acids eat away at the hard surface of the teeth.

Tooth decay begins on the surface and outer layer of the tooth, known as the enamel. It eventually reaches the dentin, the inner layer of the tooth. A cavity begins to form at this moment.

The tooth loses minerals (demineralization) in the first stage, resulting in white patches. When decay has affected the enamel of a tooth but has not yet reached the dentin, this is called a halo effect. However, after the rot has progressed to the dentin, expert treatment is required.

Pre-cavityCavity
damaged enameldamaged enamel and dentin
reversibleirreversible
no holes but may have visible white spotspresence of holes
usually not painfulpainful

Dental cavities are the most frequent noncommunicable disease in the world, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Untreated dental decay affects one out of every four adults in the United States.

Cavities at home treatment

Cavities must be treated by dentists in a professional manner.

Several home treatments, on the other hand, can help to build tooth enamel and prevent dental decay by reversing early demineralization. This is referred to as remineralization, and it prevents cavities from developing.

Cavities can be prevented and reversed with good oral care, such as frequent brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings with a dentist.

Fluoride is a tried-and-true method of preventing tooth decay and cavities. Toothpaste with high levels of fluoride or fluoride applied directly to the teeth helps to remineralize the enamel and prevent cavities.

According to the findings of a 2018 study, high fluoride toothpaste prevents cavities better than low fluoride toothpaste.

Sodium fluoride mouth rinse was also determined to be the most effective approach among the self-applied fluoride methods studied in a 2020 review.

Fluoride is also important to cities and municipalities in the United States. For more than 75 years, several communities have adopted community water fluoridation. This is the most cost-effective technique, with a 25 percent reduction in tooth decay in both children and adults.

Some people, however, may prefer natural home cures to fluoride-containing products. Here are a few home methods for preventing tooth decay.

1. Pulling oil

Ayurveda, an ancient school of alternative treatment, is where oil pulling got its start. It entails swishing a spoonful of sesame or coconut oil around the mouth for around 20 minutes before spitting it out.

While certain claims concerning oil pulling have not been scientifically proven, research shows that it can help with tooth health. It decreases germs in the mouth, plaque, and gum irritation, according to a 2017 study.

According to a paper published in 2020, oil pulling with coconut oil may enhance tooth health and oral hygiene. However, further study is needed to evaluate the usefulness of the approach, according to the experts.

2. Aloe vera

Aloe vera tooth gel may aid in the battle against cavity-causing germs. According to a 2019 study, the antibacterial activity of this gel reduces the accumulation of germs in the mouth.

Aloe vera with tea tree oil was proven to be an efficient cavity disinfection in a 2017 study, with outcomes equivalent to standard disinfectants like chlorhexidine.

Aloe vera’s antibacterial characteristics may help minimize dental cavities by lowering dangerous germs in the mouth, however additional study is needed.

3. Stay away from phytic acid

Some people believe that phytic acid, an antinutrient, leads to tooth disease by preventing the absorption and bioavailability of numerous nutrients. Minerals like iron, zinc, and calcium fall under this category.

Some people believe that eliminating it from their diet can help them avoid tooth decay and cavities. The most prevalent sources of phytic acid are grains and legumes, which include the following:

  • maize
  • navy beans
  • blackeye beans
  • broad beans
  • rye
  • kidney beans
  • haricot beans
  • wheat
  • rice
  • pinto beans

According to study released in 2015, food manufacturers have taken steps to minimize their phytic acid level in order to improve the bioavailability of micronutrients in food grains.

While science has proved that phytic acid has antinutrient qualities, there has been little research on its impact on the minerals in dental enamel.

4. Minerals and vitamins

Our teeth are made up of minerals including calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Vitamin D is necessary for:

  • protecting against dental caries
  • releasing calcium in the saliva to mineralize teeth enamel
  • forming healthy teeth

According to a 2020 study, a lack of minerals might cause absorption issues, an increased tendency to bleed, and tooth loss.

Vitamin D is also important for dental health. It prevents tooth cavities from forming and progressing. Children with dental caries had lower vitamin D levels in their blood and lower calcium levels in their saliva, according to a study published in 2021.

Furthermore, taking vitamin D without magnesium causes a fragile enamel that is unable to withstand the acids in the mouth, resulting in tooth decay.

5. Limit your intake of sugary meals and beverages.

Cavities are caused by a variety of causes, including diet, notably the use of free sugars. When sugar reacts with microorganisms in the mouth, it produces an acid that erodes tooth enamel.

The World Health Organization advises people to reduce their intake of free sugars. Aside from the quantity, taking free sweets before night increases the risk of dental caries, according to a 2017 research.

6. Eat licorice root

Licorice root contains antibacterial capabilities that can kill the bacterium that causes cavities, S. mutans.

Licorice root extract has antibacterial characteristics that are equivalent to chlorhexidine mouthwash and more powerful than fluoride mouthwash, according to a 2019 study.

A similar analysis was done in 2021, and licorice extract was discovered to have antibacterial effects.

Learn more about the health advantages of licorice root here.

7. Sugar-free gum

According to the findings of a 2015 study, chewing sugar-free gum after meals lowered the levels of microorganisms that erode enamel.

The presence of fewer of these bacteria may result in stronger enamel that is better able to resist deterioration.

8. Eggshell

Eggshells are high in calcium, which can be used to help remineralize dental enamel. It may also be used to remove plaque as an abrasive cleanser. A research published in 2018 found that modified eggshell with titanium oxide composite protects teeth against acidic chemicals.

Prevention

Cavities and tooth decay can be avoided by practicing high oral hygiene and brushing with a fluoride-rich toothpaste on a regular basis.

Pre-cavities can also be detected by limiting sugar intake and seeing the dentist on a regular basis. When deterioration occurs in the pre-cavity stage, home treatments can also be used to prevent cavities.

When should you see a dentist?

Home treatments can help prevent cavities or cure enamel damage in the pre-cavity stage. Because not all cavities produce discomfort, it is essential to visit the dentist on a frequent basis.

Dentists can discover cavities early on and offer strategies to avoid them. For advanced cases of decay, they may recommend a filling, sealant, crown, or other therapies.

Brushing, ideally with a high fluoride toothpaste, should be used in conjunction with dentist-recommended procedures.

Conclusion

Tooth decay and cavities are frequent dental problems that may be avoided with proper dental care and oral health. Aside from that, there are several home cures that might help reverse or prevent cavities.

Sources:

  • https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/basics/adult-oral-health/index.html
  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28561551/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4325021/
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  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32381838/
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5654187/
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321259
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/pmc/articles/PMC6304922/
  • https://www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/basics/anniversary.htm
  • https://www.researchgate.net/publication/350897810
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  • https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30175328/
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  • https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2405844020316327
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