Wednesday, April 30, 2014
It is sometimes possible to stop cavities in their tracks and they will never get any bigger.
Basically cavities in our mouth are either actively growing or in an arrested state. Small, beginning cavities, when they are in only the hard outer enamel layer of your tooth often times naturally stop growing larger and literally heal themselves.
Dentists call this an arrested carious lesion- that's a pretty technical term but I think it's very descriptive of what's happening. These arrested cavities are smooth dark spots and not true holes in our teeth. Most interestingly, studies have shown that that dark spot is actually more insoluble to acids and forming another cavity than is its surrounding enamel. Decay arrests itself when the conditions in our mouth change, generally become less acidic and Calcium for our saliva is able to chemically replace the Calcium ions which are pull out of our enamel by acids during initial cavity formation. An ion is similar to an atom.
I spend a lot of time teaching patients how to "fool Mother Nature" and force these active cavities to stop growing and arrest themselves with simple at home step and avoid a filling.
Posted by Charles Hand D.D.S. at 6:17 PM