Oral diseases affect 3.58 billion people worldwide, with dental caries being the most prevalent condition.

Cavities can affect anybody at any age. If you have teeth, you are at risk of developing cavities or tooth decay if your oral hygiene practices aren’t up to the mark.

Is the surface of any of your teeth unusually dark and aching? It is most probably is a cavity. How do you deal with this issue? Can home remedies help in treating cavities? Keep reading to know more.
What Is A Cavity?
Cavities are areas on the hard surface of your teeth that have been permanently damaged. Cavities often develop into tiny openings or holes on the teeth and can be caused due to several factors. This condition is also referred to as tooth decay or caries.
Cavities are one of the most common oral health problems. They are quite common across a wide age group, ranging from children and teenagers to older adults.
Read on to look at the common causes of cavities.
What Causes Cavities?
Cavities usually develop in various steps. They are:

Formation Of Plaque – Plaque is a layer of transparent and sticky film that coats your teeth. This can harden under or above your gumline to form tartar, which is even more difficult to be removed.

Attack By Plaque – The presence of acid in plaque can cause loss of minerals in the enamel of the affected tooth. This can cause your tooth to erode and develop tiny openings or holes on it, which is the first stage of cavities. If your enamel begins wearing away, the bacteria and acid from the plaque can reach the inner layer of your tooth, called the dentin. This progression results in sensitivity.

Continuation Of Destruction – Tooth decay can progress to the inner teeth material (pulp) that contains the nerves and blood vessels. Bacteria can irritate the pulp and may cause it to swell. The swelling of the pulp can cause the nerves to become pressed, thus causing pain and permanent damage.

Almost everyone with teeth is at risk of tooth decay or cavities. Other factors that may increase your risk of developing cavities are :

Location of the tooth – Tooth decay often affects the back teeth, your molars, and premolars.
Foods and drinks that may stick to your teeth for a long time like milk, ice cream, soda, or other sugary foods/drinks
Frequent snacking or sipping on sugary drinks
Feeding infants at bedtime
Poor oral hygiene habits
Dry mouth
Worn out fillings or dental devices
Eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia

Cavities in children also occur due to these factors, especially after eating foods with high sugar content and going to bed without brushing their teeth.
As your cavities progress, they may exhibit the following symptoms.
Symptoms Of Cavities

Toothache that occurs without any cause
Tooth sensitivity
A mild to sharp pain while eating sugary, hot, or cold foods
Appearance of visible holes or pits in your teeth
Pain while biting down
Brown, black, or white stains on the surface of your tooth

If you have noticed any of your teeth beginning to rot, it is high time that you treat them.
Note: It is essential that you seek medical intervention to prevent permanent damage. The following home remedies can help prevent and/or reverse cavities only if the decay hasn’t penetrated the dentin, i.e., if it is in the pre-cavities stage.
7 Natural Remedies For Cavities

1. Vitamin D
A study published in The Journal of the Tennessee Dental Association states that vitamin D plays a significant role in regulating oral health. It mediates calcium absorption and stimulates the production of antimicrobial peptides. Hence, it is necessary to follow a diet rich in vitamin D to prevent periodontal diseases and cavities.
You Will Need
Vitamin D-rich diet
What You Have To Do

Follow a vitamin D-rich diet that includes foods like fatty fish, egg yolks, and cheese.
Consult a doctor if you intend taking additional supplements for this vitamin.

How Often You Should Do This
You may do this regularly.

2. Sugar-Free Gum
In a study published in the Journal Of Applied Oral Science, sugar-free chewing gum was found to exhibit caries-reducing effects. However, more research is required to establish its effectiveness.
You Will Need
Sugar-free chewing gum
What You Have To Do
Chew on sugar-free chewing gum.
How Often You Should Do This
You may do this 1-2 times daily.

3. Fluoride Toothpaste
Regular tooth brushing with a fluoride-based toothpaste can help reduce and control cavities or tooth decay.
You Will Need
Fluoride toothpaste
What You Have To Do

Brush your teeth with any good quality fluoride-based toothpaste.
Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.

How Often You Should Do This
You may do this 2-3 times daily, preferably after every meal.

4. Coconut Oil Pulling
According to the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, oil pulling with coconut oil can help fight oral microbes, thereby preventing cavities and plaque formation. It also helps promote oral health.
You Will Need
1 tablespoon of cold-pressed virgin coconut oil
What You Have To Do

Swish a tablespoon of virgin coconut oil in your mouth.
Do this for 10-15 minutes and spit it out.
Brush and floss your teeth.

How Often You Should Do This
You may do this once daily.

5. Licorice Root
Licorice root may help treat cavities due to its powerful antimicrobial effects against oral pathogens. According to a study published in the Journal of International Oral Health, this extract exhibits better inhibitory effects than chlorhexidine – an antimicrobial agent found in mouthwashes.
You Will Need
A licorice root
What You Have To Do

Brush your teeth with a bristled licorice root.
Alternatively, you can use licorice powder to brush your teeth.
Rinse it off with water.

How Often You Should Do This
You may do this 1-2 times daily.

6. Aloe Vera
A study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Bioallied Sciences shows that aloe vera gel can help fight cavity-causing oral microbes far better than many commercially available toothpastes. Hence, you can use this remedy to deal with dental caries.
You Will Need
½ teaspoon of aloe vera gel
What You Have To Do

Take half a teaspoon of freshly extracted aloe gel on your toothbrush.
Use it to brush your teeth for a couple of minutes.
Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.

How Often You Should Do This
You may do this 1-2 times daily.
Caution: Do not use this remedy if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or have allergies to plants from the Liliaceae family.

7. Neem
According to a study published in The Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice, neem exhibits excellent antimicrobial potential against various strains of bacteria responsible for causing dental caries. Hence, the practice of chewing neem sticks should be encouraged to assist in treating cavities.
You Will Need
A neem stick
What You Have To Do
Chew on a neem stick.
How Often You Should Do This
You may do this once daily.
All these remedies are scientifically proven to help in treating cavities. Here are some prevention tips to help prevent further decaying of your teeth.
How To Prevent Cavities

Cut out sugary foods from your diet.
Avoid foods that contain phytic acid, like barley, maize, millets, oats, rice, and wheat.
Brush your teeth after every meal.
Always rinse your mouth with mouthwash after brushing your teeth.
Make an appointment with your dentist every few months.
Consider trying out dental sealants that seal your back teeth and prevent the accumulation of food in them.
Avoid snacking and sipping on sugary drinks too often.

These prevention tips and remedies can help you battle cavities and prevent further complications. However, since cavities can cause permanent damage, it is best to see a dentist and avail medical treatment. You may then use the remedies listed here to assist in enhancing the effectiveness of the current treatment.
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