Can You Really Reverse a Cavity? Dentists Answer

can you reverse a cavity?

You may have heard that you can reverse a cavity using natural methods, but is this really true? Yes, cavities can be reversed, but only in very specific situations and points in time. So how long do you have to catch the cavity before it becomes too late? In this article, we will explore the answer to these questions and more. We will also discuss when it is too late to reverse a cavity and what your options are at that point. So, keep reading to learn more!

When Can You Reverse A Cavity?

To understand at what point a cavity is still reversible, we must first understand how cavities form and the different layers of a tooth. Cavities are essentially small holes in your teeth that form when bacteria that feed on sugar secretes acid that can break down your tooth. The tooth is composed of three main layers:

  • The enamel, which is the hard, outermost layer
  • The dentin, which is a hard (but less hard than enamel) layer that lies beneath the enamel
  • The pulp, which is the innermost layer containing the blood vessels and nerves of your tooth

When you first develop a cavity, it only affects the enamel. At this stage, there is still a chance to remineralize or reverse the cavity. However, if the cavity is left untreated, it will eventually spread to the dentin. Once a cavity reaches the dentin, it is too late be reversed and must be treated with a filling.

How Can You Tell If a Cavity is Reversible?

Without getting a professional opinion from your dentist, it can be difficult to know for sure if a cavity is still reversible or not. However, there are some general things you can look for that may indicate that the cavity has progressed too far.

Usually, if a cavity hurts it is too late to reverse it. If you are feeling pain in your tooth that means that your nerves have been affected. The nerves responsible for feeling senses are present in the pulp of your tooth. They are only capable of sensing pain in the pulp and dentin. However, if the decay has only reached the enamel, you will not feel any pain. Therefore, if you have a cavity that hurts, this is generally an indication that it has progressed to the dentin and cannot be reversed.

Unfortunately, most people do not realize they have a cavity until it has already progressed to the dentin. This is because cavities do not usually cause pain or any other symptoms in the early stages. By the time you may notice something is wrong, the cavity is usually too far gone to be reversed.

How Can You Reverse A Filling

So, now that we know how cavities form and what stage they need to be in to be reversible, let’s explore how you can actually reverse a cavity.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Flouride helps to remineralize your teeth and prevent cavities. Be sure to brush all surfaces of your teeth, including near the gum line, and pay attention to your back teeth. These are the most commonly missed spots
  • Floss ATLEAST every day (But recommended twice a day). Flossing removes plaque and bacteria from between your teeth, helping to prevent cavities. Make sure to floss following the curve of your tooth, hugging its surface and going under the gumline.
  • Drink Fluoridated Water. This is water that has been treated with fluoride to help prevent cavities. Check your local water report to see if your water is already fluoridated or not.
  • Avoid sugary snacks and drinks. These can contribute to tooth decay since bacterias feed off of sugar.
  • Visit your dentist regularly. Your dentist will be able to check for cavities and other problems with your teeth. They can also give you a professional cleaning, which will remove plaque and tartar buildup. Consider asking them for sealants, which are a type of coating that can be applied to your back teeth to further protect them from cavities.

If you follow these tips, you can help to prevent cavities and keep your teeth healthy!


The contents of this website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be substituted for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Nothing on this website constitutes the practice of medicine, law or any other regulated profession.

No two mouths are the same, and each oral situation is unique. As such, it isn’t possible to give comprehensive advice or diagnose oral conditions based on articles alone. The best way to ensure you’re getting the best dental care possible is to visit a dentist in person for an examination and consultation.


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