Tooth Decay

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What Is Tooth Decay

Tooth Decay can happen to anyone, whether you are a little kid or an adult.  Bacteria in the mouth can form acids that eat away at a tooth or multiple teeth, which can lead to cavities, infection, and even tooth loss.  A tooth has three layers: enamel (the hard outer layer), dentin (the middle layer), and the pulp (the center of the tooth).  If more layers are affected by Tooth Decay, the damage is usually worse.  Tooth Decay is a very common health problem, but it is best to treat it in the early stages before a larger infection or problem occurs.  

Signs Of Tooth Decay

Tooth Decay doesn't really cause any symptoms until you have a cavity or a tooth infection.  The primary symptom of Tooth Decay is having a toothache, when your tooth is sensitive to the touch, certain foods, or varying temperatures.  If you have a cavity or tooth infection, you may experience the following symptoms.

  • Toothache (most common symptom)
  • Swelling in gums around affected tooth (can be a sign of an absessed tooth)
  • Bad breath or poor taste in your mouth
  • White, gray, brown, or black spots on your teeth
What Causes Tooth Decay

Tooth Decay is caused by a combination of bacteria and food.  Plaque is a clear substance that is always forming on your teeth and gums.  The plaque on your teeth has bacteria, which feed on the sugars from the food you eat.  The bacteria produce acids that attack your teeth for about 20 minutes after you eat, and this can cause Tooth Decay or cavities, especially if your oral hygiene isn't good.  Common causes of Tooth Decay are below. 

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Eating foods high in sugar or carbs
  • Not having enough saliva (can be caused by certain medications or mouth breathing)
  • Having Diabetes
  • Smoking tobacco

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies
  • It is very beneficial to keep proper oral hygiene to help remedy Tooth Decay.  Brushing your teeth 2-3 times every day, and flossing at least once a day is recommended to keep your mouth clean and healthy.  In addition to maintaining oral health, you can use some of the remedies below to help get rid of Tooth Decay.  It's also a good idea to avoid eating foods that are high in sugar and carbs. 
  • Sea salt can be an effective remedy for Tooth Decay because it has antiseptic and antibacterial properties.  Not only does it help draw out infections, but it also can help to treat swollen or puffy gums.  Mix 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt in a glass of lukewarm water and swish this in your mouth every morning until you see positive results. 
  • Similar to the above remedy, you can mix the juice from a whole lemon with a glass of warm water.  Rinse this solution around in your mouth after brushing your teeth, so it acts like a natural mouth wash.  Do this twice daily and the anti-inflammatory properties in lemons may help soothe bleeding or receding gums. 
  • Oil pulling, which is a popular Ayurvedic remedy, can help reduce the bacteria that causes Tooth Decay.  You can use sesame oil or organic, non-hydrogenated coconut oil.  Place 1 tablespoon of the desired oil in your mouth and swish it around for about 15-20 minutes.  You can do this every morning before brushing your teeth for about a month to help remedy Tooth Decay.
  • Cloves can be very beneficial for your teeth and gums because they have anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antioxidant, and analgesic properties.  Chewing 2-3 cloves about 3 times daily can help treat Tooth Decay. Alternatively, you can rub clove oil on your gums twice daily, rinsing your mouth out with warm water after leaving the oil on for a few minutes. 
  • Baking soda is a common home remedy for Tooth Decay because it can neutralize the acids in the mouth, which reduces the risk of developing gum disease or tooth decay.  Because baking soda can be a bit abrasive, it is best to use it gently with a bit of olive oil.  Mix 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda with a little bit of warm water or olive oil, gently rub it on the teeth and gums, and rinse your mouth out with warm water after a few minutes.  Do this 2-3 times a week. 
  • Guava leaves have been known to help remedy toothaches and gum disease because they have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and analgesic properties.  There is also something in the leaves that can act as an anti-plaque agent.  Wash a couple leaves, chew them up, and spit them out.  Do this twice a day for a couple weeks. 
Things you should eat
  • Dark Leafy Greens (spinach, kale, & chard)
  • Broccoli
  • Green Tea
  • Almonds
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Cashews
  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Oranges 
  • Strawberries
  • Dark Berries (raspberries, blackberries, & blueberries)
  • Carrots
  • Apples
  • Garlic 
  • Ginger
  • Pears
  • Kiwis
  • Onion
  • Shiitake Mushrooms
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Sweet Potatoes
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