Do you feel a sharp pain when you bite down? Or your tongue can’t stop touching a rough spot on the back of your tooth? Maybe it’s a cavity, but you’re not 100 percent sure. Start by making an appointment with your dentist. If you have concerns about your teeth, the dentist can help alleviate any fears and put you on track toward a healthy smile. Until then, you’re probably on the hunt for a more immediate solution. You might even wonder how to treat a cavity at home. Let’s see what’s possible.
Can You Heal Cavity At Home?
Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications
Can You Reverse a Cavity?
The short answer? No. Although you can take steps to halt the decay process at home, your dentist needs to treat existing cavities. In the earliest stages of tooth decay, it’s possible to remineralize the tooth enamel and prevent a cavity. However, once the enamel is thoroughly weakened or destroyed and you feel the effects of that decay, only a dentist can repair the damage.
Reversing Early Decay
As mentioned before, only a dental professional can diagnose you with a cavity. Still, you might notice the early signs of decay by looking in the mirror. A white spot on the tooth is usually a sign that the enamel is weak and will likely decay. At this stage, you can remineralize the tooth to strengthen its enamel. Use a mouth rinse or toothpaste with fluoride and calcium to help with these repairs. You can also ask your dentist for product recommendations while you wait for your scheduled appointment.
How to Get Help for Your Cavity
After a cavity has developed, the only effective way to heal cavity pain is through restoration treatment. How your dentist will repair your cavity depends on the severity. If the decay has created a hole in the tooth’s enamel but has not spread to the tooth's nerves, your dentist will likely make a filling. After the cavity is cleaned out, the dentist places a filling to seal up the hole in the tooth and prevent further decay.
In more severe cases, your dentist might perform a root canal treatment to fix the tooth, or you might have the entire tooth removed and replaced with an implant or bridge. Although these might seem like extreme options, these treatments can help improve both your oral and overall health in the long term.
How to Prevent Future Cavities
Avoid worrying about how to fix a cavity at home altogether by being more proactive in cavity prevention. Follow these simple steps to help prevent future decay:
- Step 1: Create a healthy oral care routine. Make sure to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each with fluoride toothpaste. Plus, clean between your teeth daily with floss or another interdental device. For extra protection, rinse afterward with a fluoride mouthwash.
- Step 2: Make changes to your diet. The bacteria in your mouth that create cavities feed on sugars and starches. This process produces acids that can harm your teeth and wear away enamel. Avoid sugary and starchy foods as much as possible, and focus on eating foods that help fight decay, such as dairy products and raw vegetables.
- Step 3: See your dentist regularly. Don’t wait until you start feeling the pain to see a dental professional. With twice-a-year dental visits, your dental professional can detect any signs of decay early and help you reverse the damage before extensive treatment is needed. If you have a history of cavities, your dentist or dental hygienist might recommend more frequent visits.
So, can you fix cavities at home? Unfortunately, no. Only a dentist can repair a cavity, so you should make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible. However, you do have the power to halt the decay and prevent future damage. Start implementing a tooth-healthy routine today and reap the benefits of a strong enamel for years to come.
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.