As much as our focus remains on preventing tooth decay, most of us have fallen prey to it at some point in our lives. Our lifestyle and choice of foods make it difficult to keep cavities and tooth decay at bay. The crucial part is that once you do have a tooth decay, as important as treating it is, preventing it from infecting other teeth is equally important. And in such situations, we must look at how to stop tooth decay from spreading.
What is tooth cavity?
Tooth decay is when the bacteria in your mouth leads to the decay of the outer surface of your tooth. If left untreated, it leads to tooth cavity or dental caries. The longer you leave cavities untreated, the deeper it goes, potentially even till the root.
Tips on how to stop tooth decay from spreading
If you do have tooth decay, an important aspect to be mindful of, is stopping your other teeth from getting infected. Here’s how to stop tooth decay from spreading.
When you notice a cavity or decay, the first thing to do is to contact your dentist. Even if you are following proper oral hygiene, it is possible the decaying area is vulnerable and can easily spread to other parts. The simplest solution is to get a dental filling. It is generally a painless procedure. Here’s what happens:
First, your dentist will remove the decayed part of the tooth
The affected area is then cleaned
Lastly, the space is filled with a resin composite that is a tooth-colored material, so it is discreet and looks natural.
And till the time you visit your dentist, and even after getting your decayed tooth treated, practicing good oral hygiene will help improve overall dental health. Follow the below steps:
Brush your teeth twice every day. Use Oral-B’s Vitality Series Electric toothbrush for getting the most comprehensive clean. The head of the toothbrush oscillates and rotates around teeth to get rid of plaque build-up. Moreover, it has an embedded two-minute timer that makes sure you brush your teeth for the optimal period of time.
Floss your teeth daily using Oral-B’s Essential Mint Dental Floss which comes with a shred-resistant technology, which means you can floss without the worry of any floss fibers getting stuck between your teeth. Also, its mint flavor will leave your mouth feeling refreshed.
Use a good anti-bacterial mouthwash and other products that include fluoride.
Adopt a healthy approach to your lifestyle by reducing starchy and sugary foods and eating more nutritious foods.
Don’t miss any dental appointments for regular cleanings and check-ups.
Can you reverse a cavity?
The good news is that if a cavity is caught at a nascent stage, it can be stopped and even reversed. To do so, maintaining good oral hygiene is of the utmost importance. Doing so will help restore the minerals in your teeth and hit the pause button on the process of decay. Apart from brushing your teeth, you also need to floss your teeth and use a good antibacterial mouthwash as suggested previously. For cavities that are larger or those that have infected a larger portion of your tooth, the below are some options of treatment.
Inlays or outlays–
For affected areas that are too big for fillings, depending on what suits best, inlays or outlays are used. These are pre-molded fittings that are fitted into the cleaned-out cavity area.
a metal or porcelain crown is necessary for large cavities. Once the cleaning of the decayed area is done, a crown is fitted on top of the tooth.
If the cavity has eroded the inner part of your tooth, then a root canal procedure is done. It includes extracting the damaged pulp or infected area and filling it with dental material.
In cases where the decay is beyond salvage, your dentist will suggest tooth extraction. It is mostly the last resort.
Home remedies to treat tooth cavity
If you’re looking for some home remedies for your tooth cavity, here are some options:
Aloe vera is known to have antibacterial properties. You can use tooth gel with aloe vera to combat cavity-causing bacteria.
Start having vitamin D supplements regularly after consulting with your dentist. It is said to have a mineralising effect, which helps in making your teeth strong.
Restrict the consumption of sugary foods and drinks. The sugar in your food, in combination with the bacteria in your mouth result in the formation of an acid that eats away at you tooth enamel, leaving it susceptible to decay and damage.
Tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems. It is important that you treat any cavity that you notice at an early stage. Making appropriate and healthy lifestyle changes and inculcating good oral hygiene practices will help in not just stopping tooth decay but also in preventing it.
How do you stop tooth decay from spreading at home?
Practice good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice, rinsing with a good antibacterial mouthwash and flossing to prevent tooth decay from spreading.
What happens if tooth decay spreads?
If tooth decay spreads, it will begin infecting other teeth that’s near it, which, if left untreated will continue spreading.
How fast does tooth decay spread?
There is no exact time frame for a tooth decay to spread. On an average though, it can take anywhere from six months to maybe four or five years