Every day in our office we see patients with cavities and demineralized tooth structure and we get asked the same question:
I brush my teeth how can I be getting cavities? What causes them?
Some Common Causes of Cavities
Demineralize means to deprive mineral content from teeth and bones. The repeated cycles of acid attacks cause the enamel to continue to lose minerals.
- If a tooth is exposed to acid frequently
- if you eat or drink foods or drinks containing sugar and starches
- If you have acid reflux
- If you drink juices/sports drinks/energy drinks, etc
A white spot may appear where minerals have been lost. This is a sign of early decay. Tooth decay can be stopped or reversed at this point. Enamel can repair itself by using minerals from saliva and one can strengthen the inside of the tooth and repair mechanisms through diet.
Here’s the type of diet that can decrease the frequency at which one develops cavities and that can repair the start of a cavity (demineralization):
Diet to Help Heal Cavities and Improve Oral Health
- Decrease your consumption of foods containing phytic acid.
Grains are the biggest contributor but decreasing consumption of even beans and nuts can help if you are experiencing an increase in cavities and demineralization.
- Limit foods containing even natural sugars or starches
Stick to mineral rich vegetables, clays, healthy fats, and grass fed meats broths (there are vegan recipes as well… see our favorite bone broth recipe.)
- Supplement with Magnesium, Calcium and Phosphorus
Take magnesium and calcium supplements or eat foods rich in magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus
- Increase vitamin D intake/absorption
Make sure to step into the great outdoors for 15 mins a day. Those individuals that know they are getting enough vitamin D but their bodies are unable to absorb it need to find out the why (this usually involves an in depth evaluation with a ND, MD, and nutritionist to diagnose and correct).
If the tooth decay process continues, more minerals are lost. Over time, the enamel is weakened and destroyed, forming a cavity. A cavity is permanent damage that a dentist has to repair with a filling. If you need an appointment to discuss possible cavities, make an appointment online or call us at 410-224-4500.