Do tiny cavities need to be filled?
This blog post will address the topic, “do tiny cavities need to be filled” and cover topics like can tiny cavities go away naturally, what a dental cavity is, stages of cavity formation and effective ways to heal dental cavities naturally in their earliest stages.
Do Tiny Cavities Need To Be Filled?
No, if the cavity is tiny and has not yet invaded dentin, then it may not need to be filled.
Tiny and painless cavity on the tooth surface is an indication that your cavity is in its earliest stage and can be reversed naturally without any filling.
Can Tiny Cavities Go Away Naturally?
Yes! Tiny, painless and not so sensitive cavities may go away naturally when it is still in its first stage of formation and has not yet reached dentin.
First stage of cavity is the formation of white spots on the tooth surface and preventive actions like toothbrushing with a fluoride toothpaste, daily flossing and mouthwash can reverse the cavity formation in this stage.
However, if ignored, the cavity development may enter into its later stages where reversal is impossible to achieve and the root canal is the only favourable treatment option.
What Is A Dental Cavity?
Dental Cavity or tooth cavity, is a hole that develops on the surface of the tooth due to loss of mineral content from the enamel, resulting from the repeated acid attack by the plaque bacteria.
Stages Of A Cavity Formation
Consumption of sugary and starch rich foods expose the tooth to acids frequently, resulting in mineral loss from the enamel.
Infrequent tooth brushing habits cause poor oral hygiene, resulting in plaque accumulation.
Plaque is a sticky film containing bacteria that coats the protective enamel of your teeth. These bacteria produce acids by breaking down the food debris and the acids penetrate the enamel leading to formation of white spots on the teeth.
The cavity formation takes place in 5 stages:
STAGE 1: STAGE OF TINY CAVITY
- Appearance of the white spots on the surface of the tooth as the mineral loss begins from enamel due to bacterial acid attack.
- This stage can be reversed with preventive actions and maintaining good oral hygiene.
STAGE 2: DECAYED ENAMEL – CAVITY WIDENS
- If the white spots are ignored and no preventive actions are initiated, the repeated acid attacks wear down the mineral and enamel is decayed.
- Visible hole is seen and now the cavity becomes irreversible.
STAGE 3: DENTIN INVOLVEMENT AND PAIN STARTS
- The decay moves down further and attacks the inner soft dentin.
- This is called as advanced cavity stage
- Slight pain and sensitivity starts
STAGE 4: PULP AND PAIN
- In this stage, the decay finally reaches the pulp and irritates the nerves
- Pain, sometimes excruciating, sensitivity and discomfort is seen in this stage.
- Root Canal is the only treatment option other than extraction.
STAGE 5: TOOTH ABSCESS – RESULT OF AN UNTREATED CAVITY
- After pulp involvement, if treatment is not initiated, the infection spreads to the surrounding structures of the tooth and inflammation is caused.
- Extreme pain and even tooth loss may result
Ways To Heal Tiny Cavities Naturally Without Any Filling
If the cavity is just in its initial stage where the white spot is visible on the tooth, it is the time to take preventive actions such as toothbrushing, mouth washing and flossing daily.
At stage one, when the white spot has just appeared, the tiny cavity can be reversed with proper oral hygiene and eating some mineral and vitamin rich foods.
It is recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA) to brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time with a toothpaste containing fluoride.
It is recommended to brush your teeth twice a day, once in the morning, just after waking up and once at night, just before going to bed.
You must also clean your teeth and gums, each time after you have food but not with a toothbrush. Simple rinse with water is considered good for overall oral health and hygiene.
Following this tooth brushing habit will help you prevent cavity formation in the first place and also heal a tiny cavity naturally in its earliest stage.
No Brushing After Eating Acidic Foods
You must wait for 30 minutes to one hour after consumption of acidic foods and drinks. The acid in the food or drink otherwise may erode the enamel layer and regular habit may cause exposed dentin leading to pain and sensitivity and increased risk of developing cavities.
Tooth Brushing With Gentle and Short Strokes
Use gentle, short strokes to brush your front teeth and thoroughly clean your mouth without abrading the enamel and preventing cavities from developing.
Brush the outside surfaces as well as the back molars and upper areas of your chewing surfaces. Brush the inside surfaces of both top and bottom front teeth by flipping your toothbrush upside down.
Brush your tongue to get rid of any bacteria or plaque.
Fluoride Toothpaste To Heal Tiny Cavities
Fluoride can greatly help achieve oral and dental health by strengthening the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to tooth decay.
Fluoride reduces the amount of acid produced by the bacteria on your mouth and also helps the tiny cavity in its earliest stage to repair and heal.
Floss Daily To Naturally Heal Tiny Cavities
Many people, despite knowing the benefits of flossing daily, just neglect it.
According to a study, flossing is highly effective in reducing the interproximal caries risk.
Daily floss can help stimulate your gums and reduce plaque, leading to lesser inflammation risk and increased healing of the tiny cavity.
Mouthwash To Heal Tiny Cavities
Therapeutic Mouthwashes contain ADA listed active ingredients such as fluoride, peroxide, essential oils, cetylpyridinium chloride, and chlorhexidine, preventing cavities from forming and naturally healing the formed cavity in its earliest stage.
Therapeutic mouthwashes, as the name suggests have therapeutic action and control dental conditions like gingivitis, tooth decay and periodontal diseases. They also help remove halitosis.
Consult Your Dentist Twice In A Year
It is important to get your oral health checked twice every year with an interval of 6 months between two visits.
Your dentist can help remove calculus and locate cavities and will also be able to spot potential oral health issues, if any, and offer treatment solutions.
Fluoride treatments initiated in the earliest stages, may help tiny cavities to reverse and heal.
Eat Foods Rich In Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus And Vitamins To Heal Tiny Cavities Naturally
Calcium Rich Foods To Heal Cavities Naturally
Calcium plays an important role in enamel remineralization and saliva production.
The remineralization process is essential for the cavity to reverse naturally.
Optimal saliva production acts as a natural cleanser and prevents plaque accumulation and acts as an adjunct in the process of healing tiny cavities naturally.
All thanks to calcium rich foods like cauliflower, nuts, salmon and figs.
Magnesium Rich Foods To Heal Cavities Naturally
Magnesium is essential for remineralization of the enamel as well as to maintain a balance of minerals like calcium and phosphorus.
Magnesium deficiency will lead to enamel demineralization and weakening of the enamel, halting the natural healing of the cavity.
Leafy green vegetables, avocado and squash seeds are some magnesium rich foods that you can consider to heal a tiny cavity naturally.
Phosphorus Rich Foods To Heal Cavities Naturally
Foods like meat, eggs and dairy products are rich in phosphorus and help in naturally healing the tiny cavity in its earliest stage.
Vitamin D Rich Foods To Heal Cavities Naturally
Vitamin D is essential for calcium and phosphorus absorption in the body and its deficiency eventually wastes the calcium you intake.
Spending a few minutes in the morning sun gives an adequate amount of vitamin D to the body. However, foods like fish and egg yolks are rich vitamin D sources.
Vitamin D And Cavity Prevention: What Research Says?
According to research, children with vitamin D deficiency had an increased risk of developing enamel defects and tooth fracture.
Another clinical trial reported vitamin D to be a prominent agent for caries prevention.
Study published in the journal of dental research, concluded that vitamin D is essential for lowering the risk of developing caries in children.
This blog post addressed the topic, “do tiny cavities need to be filled”. We understood if tiny cavities can go away naturally, what a dental cavity is, stages of cavity formation and effective ways to heal dental cavities naturally in their earliest stages. The article outlined some foods rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin D to be consumed for naturally healing a tooth cavity in their earliest stage.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs): Do Tiny Cavities Need To Be Filled
What happens if you don’t treat small cavities?
If you don’t treat small cavities, it may spread and worsen, resulting in pulp infection causing excruciating pain and sensitivity and the infection may also spread to the adjoining bone causing jaw pain and difficulty in mouth opening.
Not treating small cavities may also increase your treatment expenses as you may require a root canal treatment later.
It is important to follow proper oral hygiene, eat proper calcium rich diet and avoid bad habits like smoking or any form of tobacco, to allow small, painless cavities to heal itself.
Can I wait 6 months to fill a cavity?
You must not wait for 6 months to get your cavity filled as the cavities may grow as fast as six months and reach your pulp causing tooth pain, sensitivity and may even lead to tooth loss.
Can you stop a cavity when it starts?
Yes, a cavity can be stopped in its earliest stage once it starts. Preventive actions like toothbrushing with a fluoride toothpaste, daily flossing and mouthwash can reverse the cavity formation in this stage.
How long does a cavity take to destroy a tooth?
It can take a few months to years for a cavity to destroy a tooth depending upon the overall oral health and hygiene of the patient and their dietary habits.
Eating and drinking acidic foods and drinks can expedite the entire destruction process along with poor oral hygiene.
Is A Black Dot On Your Tooth A Cavity?
Yes, a black dot or darkening of the surface of the tooth, mostly molar tooth, is an indication of cavity and needs attention.
It is a sign that must not be ignored and you should consult your dentist for a more detailed examination, maybe a percussion test and x-ray.
Other FAQs about Teeth cavities that you may be interested in.
The Tooth Decay Process: How to Reverse It and Avoid a Cavity. (2018)
5 Amazingly Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Cavities. (2017)
Can You Cure Tooth Decay (Cavities) Naturally?
Zerofsky, M., Ryder, M., Bhatia, S., Stephensen, C. B., King, J., and Fung, E. B. (2016) Effects of early vitamin D deficiency rickets on bone and dental health, growth and immunity. Maternal & Child Nutrition, 12: 898– 907. doi: 10.1111/mcn.12187.
Philippe P Hujoel, Vitamin D and dental caries in controlled clinical trials: systematic review and meta-analysis, Nutrition Reviews, Volume 71, Issue 2, 1 February 2013, Pages 88–97, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2012.00544.x
Schroth, R. J., et al. “Vitamin D and Dental Caries in Children.” Journal of Dental Research, vol. 95, no. 2, Feb. 2016, pp. 173–179, doi:10.1177/0022034515616335.