Can Teeth Repair Themselves?

April 09, 2013

It may sound strange, but it is possible to repair your own teeth. At the very least, you can stop a tooth’s worst problem – decay.

Decay happens when bacteria consume sugars and refined carbohydrates in your mouth and create acids that attack the teeth. When the decay process gets to the point where a hole forms in the enamel, you get a cavity. If left untreated, the decay can penetrate the enamel layer and attack the softer tissue below.

Demineralization starts in your mouth with bacteria. The more bacteria there are, the more acid they produce. This acid causes demineralization and can be seen as small white or brown spots on the teeth. Your body can help teeth recover from this acid attack by replacing the lost minerals. This is called remineralization.

Saliva is the hero in this process. As your saliva washes over your teeth, carrying minerals that can be incorporated into demineralized areas, making the enamel strong again. It’s even better if you drink fluoridated water because the fluoride also strengthens your teeth.

Once a cavity forms in your tooth, it can’t be healed naturally through remineralization. In that case, you will need a dentist to restore the tooth with a filling, or crown.

But simply brushing twice a day with a toothpaste containing fluoride will help your teeth repair themselves. Regular visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning also will help. Get more tips on how fluoride helps keep your teeth healthy.

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