Tooth decay, also known as cavities or dental caries, is the most common oral health problem and the second most common health disorder (after common cold). It is basically holes or structural damage in your teeth.
Tooth decay is common in children, young adults, and the elderly. However, it can affect anyone.
Tooth decay often occurs due to a bacterial infection that attacks, destroys, and demineralizes hard tissues of the teeth.
Factors that could contribute to tooth decay include; eating foods that are sticky, snacking on sugary/carbohydrate foods, not getting enough flouride, poor oral care, worn-out fillings, and dry mouth.
Symptoms of dental caries may vary. However, common symptoms include; visible pits/holes in teeth, tooth pain, increased sensitivity of tooth, patches of discoloration on the tooth surface.
If dental caries is not treated in a timely manner, it could exacerbate into severe pain, infection or even tooth loss.
Here are some tips and good practices, to consider, if you are dealing with tooth decay;
- Ensure you brush your teeth daily with fluoride toothpaste.
- Strive to floss, especially after meals, to remove food particles stuck between your teeth.
- Limit your sugar intake when snacking.
- Ensure you visit your dentist as and when scheduled.
- Endeavor to use antimicrobial mouthwash as they help to inhibit bacteria growth and plaque formation.
- You could take sugar-free chewing gum to help prevent dry mouth and strengthen your teeth.
- Ensure you stay hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water. This would help reduce incidences of dry mouth.
- You could also drink cranberry juice regularly as it helps inhibit bacteria.
- Ensure you maintain a well-balanced diet especially by eating foods rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Below are home remedies for tooth decay and cavities;
1. Oil Pulling
This age-old remedy is highly effective in dealing with oral problems. The oil used in this remedy helps in reducing inflammation and killing the harmful bacteria that are responsible for tooth decay. Take a tablespoon of sesame oil or coconut oil in your mouth. Move it gently around your teeth for about 18-20 minutes. Do not swallow it. Spit it and wash your mouth thoroughly with warm water to remove the oil. You may then brush your teeth. It is recommended to do this remedy once every day in the morning.
Clove is widely used in treating dental problems due to its medicinal properties. Clove not only eliminates pain associated with tooth and gum problems but also helps in reducing a cavity. For this remedy, dilute a little clove oil with sesame oil and dab on to the affected area. You may also chew a few cloves to relieve the symptoms.
Garlic possesses strong anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties which is helpful in keeping dental problems at a bay. It also helps in alleviating pain naturally. All you have to do is chew a clove of garlic once every day, preferably in the morning. It may seem repulsive but raw garlic works effectively to treat cavities and tooth decay.
Salt has an antiseptic and antimicrobial action on the mouth which disinfects the area. Salt also reduces inflammation and kills the harmful bacteria that causes dental problems. For this remedy, pour warm water into a glass and add a teaspoon of salt to it. Dissolve the salt and use it to rinse your mouth. Make sure the affected tooth is soaked with the saline solution for a few minutes. Do this thrice every day until the problem resolves.
The strong antibacterial properties possessed by turmeric, due to its curcumin constituent, can be helpful in dealing with tooth decay or cavities. Take some turmeric powder on a Q-tip and apply it directly to the affected tooth. You may also mix some turmeric powder with mustard oil and apply around the affected tooth to relieve pain and inflammation. Turmeric promotes effective healing of dental problems.
Licorice is another ingredient that has powerful antibacterial properties which fight against harmful bacteria thriving in your mouth. Take a small piece of dried licorice root and chew it slowly so that the fibers of the root get separated. Now rub these fibers against your gum and teeth in a gentle way. Spit it and wash your mouth with warm water thereafter.
7. Bone Broth
The high amount of minerals and vitamins present in a bone broth is useful in treating tooth problems. Bone broth is also rich in healthy fats. You may use bones of lamb or beef and boil it in water to obtain a thick consistency. Remove from heat and add salt to taste. Sprinkle some black pepper and drink it on a regular basis to reap the benefits.
8. Baking Soda
Being highly alkaline in nature, baking soda balances the acids present in the mouth and inhibits the growth of bacteria, thereby, alleviating a tooth decay. For this remedy, dip a wet toothbrush in the baking soda powder and use it to brush your teeth. Avoid prolonged use of baking soda as it may cause damage to the enamel.
9. Aloe Vera
The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of aloe vera not only inhibits decay but also kills the infection-causing bacteria from your mouth. Take a quarter cup of aloe vera juice and use it to rinse your mouth. Do this a couple of minutes after brushing your teeth to eradicate the leftover bacteria from your mouth. Finally, wash your mouth with plain water. Follow this process twice every day for effective results.
10. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a disinfectant that helps in killing the microbes present in your mouth and heals a tooth decay fast. All you have to do is take hydrogen peroxide in your mouth after regular brushing and swish it gently for a few seconds. Spit it out and wash your mouth with water thereafter. Use this remedy, once, at the end of the day before you hit the bed for a couple of days. Avoid keeping hydrogen peroxide in your mouth for too long as it may hurt your buccal lining. Also, avoid its prolonged use.
11. Indian Gooseberry
Indian gooseberry has a high amount of vitamin C which is helpful in treating infections in a natural way. Indian gooseberry heals the connective tissues that are beneficial for the gums. It also reduces bad breath in a natural way. Simply eat a fresh Indian gooseberry once every day. You may also mix half a teaspoon of dried gooseberry powder in a cup of water and consume it.
12. Alcohol Compress
Mix equal parts of alcoholic beverages such as vodka, whiskey, and gin. Now dip a clean cloth in the mixture and place it on the affected tooth. Let it stay for 4-5 minutes. Repeat this process several times every day to gradually reduce pain while killing the bacteria that causes tooth decay.
Drinking a glassful of the freshly extracted juice of wheatgrass is a proven remedy to positive alleviate tooth problems. Wheatgrass powerful antibacterial action helps in killing the bacteria present in the mouth and alleviates inflammation and pain.
Tea contains active compounds, such as tannins and catechins, that help in preventing the formation of plaque, thereby reducing the chances of infection. Tea also helps in killing the bacteria that causes cavities in an effective way. For this remedy, steep some green tea leaves in hot water and drink it 2-3 times a day. You may also add honey or lemon juice to enhance its taste.
15. Cod Liver Oil
The cod liver oil contains essential vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids that promotes oral health and eliminates dental problems. Butter oil also has similar attributes. A supplement containing cod liver oil or fish oil may prove to be a potent remedy for tooth cavities. Be sure to check with your doctor to know the appropriate doses.
Neem is popular for its antimicrobial properties. A regular use of neem not only eradicates the bacteria responsible for oral problems but also improves your oral health. For this remedy, take a few neem leaves and crush them. Then, apply the crushed paste to the affected for a couple of minutes and wash it off with lukewarm water thereafter. Do this remedy twice every day.
17. Bentonite Clay
You can make a herbal toothpaste by mixing bentonite clay(1 tbsp) with coconut oil (1 tbsp) and a little amount of your favorite essential oil. Bentonite clay will absorb impurities from the affected tooth while coconut oil will reduce inflammation and infection-causing bacteria in a natural way. Brush twice every day with this toothpaste.
The anti-cariogenic properties of nutmeg help in treating a tooth decay and cavities in a natural way. For this remedy, take a little amount of grated nutmeg and mix it with oregano oil. Spread it on the affected tooth and wait for 8-10 minutes. Then, wash your mouth thoroughly with warm water and repeat the remedy 3-4 times daily. You may also dab some nutmeg oil on your tooth using a Q-tip.
19. Almond And Vanilla Extracts
A mixture of almond extract and vanilla extract helps in reducing a tooth decay and cavities in a gentle way. Just mix the two extract in equal parts and dab it around the affected tooth. Reapply 2-3 times in a day.
20. Tea Tree Oil
The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial attributes of tea tree oil are beneficial for treating a tooth decay. For this remedy, dilute tea tree oil in a carrier oil such as coconut oil or olive oil. Then, dab some of the diluted tea tree oil in the affected area and massage gently. Wash it away with warm water thereafter.
21. Vanilla Essence
Vanilla essence is antiseptic in nature which may help in effectively treating cavities and tooth decays. Take a small amount of pure vanilla essence in a Q-tip and apply it to the affected area of the tooth. Leave it on and reapply 2-3 times in a day.
You can make a toothpaste using egg shells. It contains calcium bicarbonate which effectively treats a decaying tooth. Clean some eggshells and boil it in water for some minutes. Remove from the water and let them air dry. Then, grind them to obtain a powder. Mix this powder with coconut oil and baking soda and use it to brush your teeth. This remedy would also remineralize the tooth enamel naturally.
The vitamin C content of lemons is highly effective in killing the problem-causing bacteria present in the mouth. Therefore, its regular use will help in treating as well as inhibiting cavities and decay. Simply take a slice of freshly cut lemon and chew it for some minutes so that its juice reaches the affected area. Spit it and rinse your mouth using plain water. Do this several times in a day whenever you feel pain.
24. Oregano Oil
Mix some oregano oil with salt and some water. Then, dip your toothbrush in it and brush slowly. Oregano oil kills the bacteria that causes plaque and prevents the tooth from decaying. Use it every day to relieve the condition.
25. Black Walnut
A tincture of black walnuts may also help in treating a tooth decay due to its antimicrobial action. Add a little amount of black walnut tincture in a cup of water and use it as a mouth rinse. Spit it out after a couple of minutes though swallowing it is not harmful. Make sure you wash your mouth with it at least 2-3 times a week.
26. Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil is another natural way to kill the mouth bacteria that causes infection and decay. Eucalyptus oil has a powerful antimicrobial action which is sure to bring relief. Add it to your toothpaste and brush your teeth on a regular basis to notice the difference.
27. Mustard Oil & Rock Salt
You could apply a paste made by mixing rock salt with mustard oil directly to the affected tooth. Massage with the paste in a gentle way and leave it on for a few minutes. Finally, wash it away with warm water. Rock salt will help in balancing the pH of the mouth and make it difficult for the bacteria to thrive. Furthermore, the antibacterial nature of mustard oil helps in healing the area fast.
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