Question: Is there a way to reverse a cavity without getting it filled?
Answer: Maybe. But, first a disclaimer. If you have or think you have a cavity or any other oral health problem, see your dentist for diagnosis and treatment. (don’t rely on something you read on the Internet – even here at this excellent site)
You may have heard of people talk about the fact that cavities can reverse or go away. You may even have had such an experience yourself.
There may be a point in the progression of a cavity where it becomes impossible to reverse the decay. Yet, there is such a thing as reversible pulpitis. With this condition, the enamel may have softened a bit and the very beginning stages of cavity formation may have commenced.
You can read about reversible pulpitis and you will find two things. Some sources will gloss over the fact that reversible pulpitis can heal with no permanent effects and without professional intervention.
However, you may run into a dentist that believes a RP should be drilled and filled. You may have to deal with such a situation and you will have to decide wether you need a second professional opinion or not.
When I faced such a situation, I changed dentists and six months later, there was no cavity to be found.
The question becomes, is there anything you can do to cause a reversal of the enamel softening and prevent the formation of irreversible pulpitis?. Good Question. The answer is maybe.
Facts first: In 1991 a study was done at a dental school in Israel. You can find and read this study for yourself -(PMID 1762023). In this study, the researchers purposely softened tooth enamel in subjects via exposure to a cola drink.
You may have heard that some colas can eat the paint off your car if left on there too long.
The good scientists conducting the study then verified via Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) That the enamel had been softened and damaged.
Then they had their ‘victim’ eat hard cheese. How much and how often or how long is not mentioned in the study. They found significant hardening of the tooth enamel on a subsequent SEM.
This is a study that has been done at a Medical / Dental University.
I recently had a spot were I was feeling a little pain when I probed the side of a tooth with a metal instrument. I thought it would be cool to test this cheese thing and find out if it would work for me or not. It took several days of chewing on cheese every so often.
I even tried to let my saliva break down the cheese and swish the liquid around the tooth in question. After a while of doing this, the pain on my tooth subsided.
Now, I’m not making any claims here at all. Maybe it wasn’t even a reversible pulpitis. Maybe something else was responsible for making the pain go away. As I mentioned before, if you have or think you have a cavity or any other oral health issue, contact your dentist for diagnosis and treatment.
I guess if you have a sweet tooth, it might be helpful to eat some hard cheese along with your candy?
I simply enjoy writing about this kind of stuff. If you have a question. Ask Dave a Question.