Can Cavities Be Healed Naturally?
A sensitive tooth, painful bite, or dark or white staining can all be signs of a cavity. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you may think you’re doomed to visit tthe dentist for some drilling and filling. But this isn’t always the case.
What the research says
In 1928, a study revealed that vitamin D greatly reduced the formation and spreading of dental caries in children. A later study found that a diet rich in vitamin D and devoid of cereal virtually eliminated the initiation and spread of caries. Later research found that vitamin D is not only effective at preventing new cavities, but also healing existing ones. The research also confirmed that a grain-free diet combined with vitamin D has an even greater effect on preventing and healing cavities in children.1
Although it’s true that not all cavities can be healed naturally, this and other research gives us hope that we don’t necessarily have to destroy the structure of the tooth just to eliminate decay. A tooth is perfectly capable of healing itself when ideal conditions exist in the mouth and the body is getting the proper nutrients.
Nutrition and tooth decay
You may find it difficult to completely eliminate grains from your diet, but vitamin D on its own can greatly increase your ability to prevent and heal cavities. Along with vitamin D, you should also add vitamin K2, magnesium, and phosphorus and reduce or eliminate sugary and acidic foods and beverages from your diet. This will help your teeth naturally repair themselves through remineralization.
It makes sense that sugar is a major cause of cavities, but you may not have known that grains can also be problematic for teeth. Why? Because our modern grains are high in phytic acid, which can inhibit enzymes and impair the absorption of key minerals.2
Phytic acid is not just found in grains, but also legumes, nuts, and seeds. The good news is that phytic acid can be greatly reduced by germination (sprouting), fermentation, or simply soaking these foods in water overnight.
Phytic is also not all bad, as it actually contains antioxidants and prevents heavy metal accumulation in the body.3 Research also suggests that the negative effects of phytic acid can be counteracted by things like animal protein and vitamin C. So rather than eliminating these foods from your diet, you will likely be better off just reducing your phytic acid consumption. If your diet consists of mostly grains, legumes, and nuts, on the other hand, that could be cause for concern.
The importance of oral care
Along with the nutrition tips explained here, oral care is another key component of preventing and potentially reversing cavities. You’ve heard it a million times, but brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing does help. The type of toothbrush to use and the proper brushing technique, however, are less apparent.
As far as toothpaste, go for a natural one that doesn’t contain harmful substances such as sodium lauryl sulfate, triclosan, artificial sweeteners, fluoride, and glycerin. Consider choosing a remineralizing toothpaste to help you prevent and potentially heal your cavities.
In addition, you may want to add oil pulling to your regimen. This treatment consists of swishing coconut oil around in your mouth for about 20 minutes. Because coconut oil can cause damage to your pipes, you should make sure to spit it out in the garbage instead of the sink.
If you do use a mouthwash, make sure it is natural, as artificial ones can kill off the good bacteria in your mouth and damage your oral microbiome.4
Lastly, don’t brush your teeth too hard! Brushing too hard can actually remove the enamel from your teeth, so be gentle while making sure to get into all the cracks and crevices. Using a soft-bristled brush is also a good idea. Ask the Dentist covers brushing your teeth the right way as well as the proper flossing technique on their website.
Tips for healing cavities naturally
In summary, cavities can be healed naturally, but it does depend on how bad the decay is and the state of your oral microbiome. To prevent cavities and give yourself the best chance to heal existing ones, make sure to:
- Consume plenty of vitamin D3, C, and K2
- Get enough calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus
- Consider other supplements and oils that support healthy teeth
- Reduce sugar intake
- Reduce phytic acid consumption
- Use a natural remineralizing toothpaste
- Don’t brush too hard
We all want to avoid dental work as much as possible, but don’t wait around for things too get better if you’re having tooth pain. If you haven’t had good results with traditional dentistry, you can find a biological dentist that offers a more holistic approach to caring for your oral health.
1. Mellanby, M. & C.L. Pattison. “The Influence of a Cereal-Free Diet Rich in Vitamin D and Calcium on Dental Caries in Children.” The British Medical Journal (1932): 507-510.
2. “Phytic Acid 101: Everything You Need to Know.” Healthline Media. Healthline.com.
3. Andrews, Ryan. “Phytates and phytic acid.” Precision Nutrition. Precisionnutrition.com.
4. “Does Mouthwash Kill Good Bacteria?” Dr. Steven Lin. Drstevenlin.com.