Cavities are literal holes in your teeth caused by damage to the tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is designed to protect your teeth, but it can weaken for a few reasons. Poor oral hygiene, a diet with lots of added sugar or lacking in nutrients, dry mouth, and even lack of fluoride can cause cavities. Cavities, like many oral health problems, can start out minor and progress to a painful problem. But do cavities go away on their own?
Here’s what you should know!
A Cavity Can’t Go Away by Itself
Unfortunately, cavities can’t go away on their own. Even if you have a small cavity, it will get worse over time without treatment. Cavities need professional treatment to restore the tooth and protect the tooth enamel from further damage.
If you suspect you have a cavity or your dentist finds the early stages of a cavity, don’t opt to ignore the problem. Some treatment will need to be done or lifestyle changes made to help the cavity go away and your smile to be healthy again.
Depending on the size of your cavity, you may be able to have a simple in-office fluoride treatment with your dentist, or you may need a filling. For cavities that are deep enough and have compromised the inner tissue of the tooth, a root canal may be necessary to prevent tooth loss.
Fluoride May Help Reverse Early Cavities
Using fluoride toothpaste can help prevent cavities, but if you have a cavity forming, your dentist may be able to use an in-office fluoride treatment to help reverse early tooth decay . Fluoride not only helps prevent mineral loss in tooth enamel, but can help replenish lost minerals, which can help strengthen the tooth enamel .
Although using fluoride toothpaste is beneficial, the fluoride your dentist uses in-office is a stronger concentration, so it may help improve cavities in their early stages . However, fluoride isn’t able to treat or reverse cavities that have advanced, and so you’ll likely need a filling or another form of treatment from your dentist to restore your tooth.
Cavities Are Preventable!
The good news is that cavities are entirely preventable. By brushing and flossing daily, eating a healthy diet, not smoking, and visiting your dentist, you can prevent tooth decay, or at the very least, catch it early enough to need minimal treatment.
If you have a cavity, don’t hesitate to follow up with your dentist to determine your next steps to save your tooth. Whether you need a simple in-office fluoride treatment or a filling for a more advanced cavity, you can restore your smile with your professional dentist and prevent future cavities!