Although you might think that the first sign of a cavity should send you running straight to your dentist, it’s worth considering some natural remedies that claim to be able to heal cavities. While not all of these natural solutions are endorsed by all dental professionals, they have nonetheless attracted some support and may be worth trying in the first instance.
1. Use a remineralizing toothpaste
If you’d like a natural alternative to the typical fluoride toothpastes seen on the market, you can create a fantastic homemade toothpaste that may help to counteract your cavities by remineralizing your teeth. Simply combine 5tsp of calcium powder with 1tsp of diatomaceous earth, 2tsp of baking soda, 3tsp of xylitol powder and 3-5tsp of coconut oil.
2. Reduce phytic acid consumption
A fascinating study published the in British Medical Journal detailed how cavities may be treated with diet modifications. Specifically, the study contrasted three groups of around 20 children—one group ate a standard diet with oatmeal added, one ate their normal diet along with vitamin D supplements, and the third group ate a diet free of any grains along with vitamin D supplements. It was discovered that the group consuming the oatmeal (which was rich in phytic acid) were most likely to get cavities, followed by the group who took vitamin D supplements. However, the children in the group who consumed vitamin D and removed grains from their diet appeared to experience cavity healing. Other foods that are high in phytic acid (and may therefore be avoided to promote cavity healing) include seeds, nuts and beans. Obviously, this evidence must be balanced against the many studies that suggest whole grains in particular can have a positive influence on everything from weight to heart health, but the study certainly provides food for thought.
3. Take supplements
In addition to changing your diet, it may be worth adding supplement to ensure that you’re getting an intake of vitamins and minerals that supports cavity healing. There is at least some evidence that cavities often owe to an inappropriately low intake of fatty vitamins that is associated with the modern tendency to eat predominantly processed food. In particular, it’s a good idea to consider fermented cod liver oil and butter oil supplements, both of which provide you with rich sources of vitamins A, K and D (all of which are linked to good oral health). Vitamin D is especially important for the teeth and gums, and even dentists who are not particularly friendly to alternative health approaches tend to agree on this point.
4. Try oil pulling
A practice introduced by the tradition of Ayurvedic medicine, oil pulling involves swishing a full tablespoon of oil around the mouth for 5-20 minutes. As strange as it may sound at first, some people swear by this habit for helping everything from headaches to cavities. It is generally practices immediately after getting up in the morning, and can be continued as you go about your daily routine (there is no need to focus solely on the oil pulling for the full 20 minutes). Always rinse your mouth out with warm salt water after oil pulling, and then brush your teeth.
5. Drink more water
A straightforward tactic for promoting natural cavity reduction just involves upping your water intake to at least 8-10 servings per day. The thought is that water might be able to help heal cavities by making your mouth less acidic and also washing away loose food particles that hang around in your mouth after meals.
6. Boost your calcium intake
Calcium is well known for helping to strengthen teeth and bones, so ensure that your diet is rich in calcium if you want to heal current cavities. Dairy foods like milk, yogurt and cheese are all excellent sources of calcium.
7. Reduce pain while you wait for healing
If you’re still on the fence about seeing a dentist and want to wait and see whether natural remedies may help, you can also investigate some homemade treatments for the pain and discomfort that is sometimes caused by cavities. One smart strategy involves gargling with salt water, which not only may improve pain but can also fight potential sources of infection. All you need to do is add a teaspoon of salt to a cup or glass of freshly boiled (but not boiling) water, and then swish the mixture around your teeth and gums for 2-3 minutes. Where possible, try to hold the liquid as near as you can to the area of the cavity.
One final, cautionary note: while these natural approaches to treating cavities may provide a useful alternative to expensive or invasive dental treatments, you should always seek the advice of a dentist if you are in intense pain or if natural remedies have not provided any relief.