12 Natural Ways to Prevent Cavities, Plus Some Ideas on Natural Cures

Wednesday Dec 26 | BY |
| Comments (8)

Prevent Cavities NaturallyIf you eat raw foods or have a vitamin deficiency, you could be more at risk for cavities.

We all know that dental hygiene is important, mainly to prevent cavities. Most of the time, as long as we brush and floss a couple of times a day and get regular cleanings, we are able to keep our teeth and gums healthy.

Sometimes, though, it’s more difficult than that. Particularly those who eat a raw diet may be more at risk for tooth decay, according to some studies.

Fortunately, there are some additional steps you can take to help prevent cavities, and if you do happen to get one, there are some natural remedies that may help you get rid of it.

What Are Cavities?
Cavities are a type of infection caused by bacteria that destroy the material of the tooth. All humans have bacteria in their mouths, and it can easily accumulate on the surface of teeth, particularly after eating. Over time, if not regularly brushed or flushed away, the bacteria can form a sticky film called “plaque.” Plaque is more difficult to remove, except with dental tools.

Plaque gradually dissolves the minerals in the surfaces of teeth, resulting in small pits that get larger over time—cavities. Though everyone is at risk for cavities, some have more risk factors than others.

Those who crave sweets, and those who live on a raw food diet, may be more at risk. Foods that cling to teeth, such as dairy products, dried fruits, cake and cookies are more likely to cause decay than other foods. Those who snack throughout the day or who drink acidic beverages are more at risk, as are those who suffer from eating disorders, heartburn, or dry mouth. Age also plays a part, with younger and older patients more at risk.

Nutrient imbalances may also shift body chemistry enough to make teeth more prone to decay. Dr. Melvin Page, who wrote Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition, notes that a disturbance in the ratio of calcium to phosphorus in the blood causes tooth decay and gum disease.

Natural Ways to Prevent Cavities
In addition to regular brushing and flossing, there are other ways to destroy plaque and keep teeth safe from destructive bacteria.

  1. Avoid refined sugars: Foods that contain refined sugar are more likely to create plaque.
  2. Drink green and black tea: Teas reduce plaque build-up and help suppress bacteria levels in the mouth.
  3. Brush before breakfast: Bacteria likes to build up in your mouth overnight, so brushing first thing in the morning can help get rid of sticky plaque. Particularly if you drink orange juice or other acidic beverages in the morning, brushing before eating can better protect your teeth. Acidic foods weaken enamel for at least an hour after consumption, so brushing within an hour after eating or drinking acidic foods can actually weaken enamel and cause permanent damage.
  4. Eat tooth-healthy foods: Cheese, nuts, and apples can help break up the plaque that adheres to your teeth. High fiber foods can also help increase the production of saliva in your mouth, which serves as a natural protector for teeth.
  5. Chew sugar-free gum: It also stimulates the production of saliva—good for your teeth. It also helps cleanse the teeth of leftover food particles after a meal.
  6. Get more xylitol: It’s a natural sweetener that prevents the growth of bacteria in the mouth. Choose gum with xylitol or add the sweetener to some food items and/or your toothpaste or mouthwash.
  7. Sip carbonated drinks with a straw: Even if you choose sparkling water, carbonated drinks can still weaken enamel. A 2007 study, for example, found that flavored sparkling waters, even when sugar-free, are potentially erosive because of their acidic properties. Sipping with a straw helps keep the acid away from your teeth.
  8. Oil pulling: As mentioned in a previous article, oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic technique that helps clean the mouth of harmful bacterial. Simply swish your mouth with a spoonful of sesame or sunflower oil for about 15-20 minutes.
  9. Drink more water: Water not only helps clean away bacteria, but is important for the production of saliva.
  10. Rinse with tea tree oil: This natural oil has powerful anti-bacterial properties. Dilute in water and rinse once or twice a day.
  11. Snack on organic licorice twists: Certain compounds in licorice have been found in studies to hep kill the bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay. It can also help prevent oral infections.
  12. Nutrition: Make sure you’re getting enough vitamins A, D, E, and K in your diet, as well as enough calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and other key minerals.

If You Get a Cavity
What if you happen to get a cavity? The accepted remedy is to go the dentist for a filling, and that may be a good idea in your case, depending on how bad the cavity is. A cavity left untreated can get worse, with the infection delving deeper into the tooth toward the nerve, causing lasting damage. There are some natural remedies, however, that may provide relief until you can have the cavity filled, or that may actually help stop the infection.

  • Oil of oregano: Some have had success with this natural antiseptic on tooth decay. A 2008 study found that a compound found in oregano had potent antimicrobial properties. Brush with the oil daily.
  • Xylitol: Try using xylitol toothpaste, rinse, wipes, and spray several times a day. Dr. Peter Milgrom, professor of dental public health sciences at the University of Washington and director of the Northwest Center to Reduce Oral Health Disparities, says xylitol stops bacteria in the mouth from emitting acid that causes tooth decay and cavities, and makes it harder for bacteria to find shelter on the gums and teeth.
  • Cloves: It’s a natural remedy used to treat toothache. Add one or two drops of clove oil into the tooth cavity.
  • Sage: It has antibacterial properties that may cure tooth decay. Boil sage in water, cool, and use as a mouthwash.
  • Neem: Brushing with neem sticks or chewing the leaves or seeds was long considered the best way to destroy cavity-causing bacteria. A 1996 study found that neem sticks can slow down plaque formation.

Do you have natural remedies for dental cavities? Please share!

* * *

Sources
Ganss C, et al., “Dental erosions in subjects living on a raw food diet.” Caries Res, 1999;33(1):74-80, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9831783.

Brown CJ, et al., “The erosive potential of flavoured sparkling water drinks,” Int J Paediatr Dent. 2007 Mar;17(2):86-91, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17263857.

Sharise M. Darby, “Xylitol joining fluoride as cavity fighter,” Atlanta Jounral-Constitution, July 21, 2009, http://www.ajc.com/news/lifestyles/health/xylitol-joining-fluoride-as-cavity-fighter/nQH88/.

Wen-Xian Du, et al., “Storage Stability and Antibacterial Activity against Escherichia coli O157:H7 of Carvacrol in Edible Apple Flims Made by Two Different Casting Methods,” J. Agric. Food Chem., 2008, 56(9), pp 3082-3088, http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf703629s.

L.E. Wolinsky, “The Inhibiting Effect of Aqueous Azadirachta indica (Neem) Extract Upon Bacterial Properties Influencing in vitro Plaque Formation,” JDR, February 1996 vol. 75 no.2, 816-822, http://jdr.sagepub.com/content/75/2/816.abstract.

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.

8 COMMENTS ON THIS POST

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. Jane says:

    Excellent tips Kevin and happy holidays.

    I do like to brush my teeth quite frenquently but I never thought about brushing before I eat breakfast as I thought it would be counter productive to brush ahead of my first meal, but might just take your advice on thise one.

    Sugar is one of the bigger culprits when it comes to trying to prevent cavities. I love sugar but I know how bad it can be for my teeth.

  2. Beth says:

    Hi Kevin. I used to have a huge amont of plaque on my lower front teeth. Since I have been juicing and eating more green, the plaque has disappeared! For me good teeth is about an alkaline diet.

  3. RobG says:

    1. colloidal mineral supplement – teeth roots need to feed
    2. WPF nurtional guidlenes (bone brooth soups)
    3. no flouride tootpastes (its the wrong kind of flouride and makes teeth enamel brittle)

  4. Teresa says:

    I was introduced to the Weston Price Foundation who has done extensive research in the prevention of cavities and how our lifestyles have attributed to our teeth problems. I began feeding high vitamin butter oil/fermented cod liver oil to my family because of what I found out. They actually have it in chocolate flavor and my kids love it! It’s something to think about!

  5. OIL PULLING is very good TOOL when you have NO crowns, otherwise it is very dangerous …. because the oil can go underneath it (crowns are not always tight) and the bacteria stick to it …. and the tooth rots from the inside out…… I have lost two teeth because I did not know that this is possible.
    So pay attention when you do it.

  6. Idelle says:

    Oil pulling with coconut oil. Anti bacterial and strengthens tooth enamel. My blog explains more. http://thebrandwellnesscenter.webs.com/apps/blog/show/5919989-oil-pulling

  7. Go to the Weston Price Foundation website. an article about vitamin K2 identifies it as the mystery substance of 60 odd years ago that can dissolve unwanted calcium and deposit it where it does belong. It can een be demonstrated in a petrie dish. And also can glass over/fill or stop dental cavities! Well worth reading. You can get combo supplements with Vitamin D3 Vitamin A and Vitamin K2 now. It is protection from hardening of arteries form of heart disease as well.

  8. Keith says:

    I’m surprised to see you recommend sugar-free chewing gum. Most of these gums contain aspartame which has been shown to promote symptoms similar to Sjögren’s syndrome, one of which is a dry mouth — not the best condition for preventing cavities!

    Comments are closed for this post.