Apr 302015

Remineralization of Carious Lesions (Healing Cavities)

What shocks patients some of the time is suggestions to try to remineralize early carious lesions (ie reversing cavities).  Healing cavities naturally and nonsurgically is the goal of minimally invasive dentistry.  In the early stages of caries progression, the damage is to the tough outside tissue of the tooth (enamel).  Before the bacteria spread through the enamel into the dentin, that effected enamel still has the ability to become remineralized and protect itself from bacterial invasion and caries progression.  Catching cavities in this key phase and treating them appropriately is critical to reversing the decay process.

What remineralizes teeth?  The truth in dental research is that fluoride is the most effective way to remineralize carious lesions; however, homeopathic literature dictates that natural alternatives exist.  If you follow a traditional approach to teeth, consider a topical fluoride product versus ingesting lots of fluoride-contaminated water.  If you tend to be a person that likes to go the natural route, try a natural product like brushing with black walnut powder (which may contain fluoride) or iodine, which can stain your teeth.  My personal favorite is MI paste (comes and fluoride and fluoride-free formulations) and it additionally uses calcium ions which protect the demineralized enamel  from further destruction.  Further research needs to be conducted in dentistry to assess the clinical outcomes of different products for tooth remineralization.  After caries hit the dentin, however, physical removal of the carious lesion is necessary.  The key is regular check-ups with your dentist to catch these cavities in the early phases.

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