Cavities can cause a lot of problems in the mouth and getting fillings can be uncomfortable for many individuals. But what if you didn’t have to get a filing, and cavities just go away? Is that possible? The answer is yes as well as no. Let’s start by discussing how cavities form and how they affect your dental health.
Our teeth are layered in structure, with the outer layer of enamel acting as the visible part of teeth and allowing you to bite and chew things. Under the enamel is a layer of dentin that covers the root of the tooth that extends to the gums. Enamel is composed of apatites, which are minerals found in the saliva. When saliva makes contact with teeth, an ongoing process takes place. The minerals present in the enamel move to the saliva in a process called demineralization. At the same time, an equal amount of minerals enters the enamel in a process called remineralization.
As long as this process is in balance, the enamel will remain healthy. There are some things that can affect the balance, and these are:
The saliva in your mouth is alkaline. However, when food particles are in the mouth the saliva will start to become acidic. This causes mineralization to become unbalanced, resulting in minerals leaving the enamel without being replaced by the minerals in saliva. When this balance is not restored with proper oral hygiene, cavities form.
Fluoride is one way to reduce the effects of demineralization when saliva is unbalanced and to promote remineralization. Your Berkeley Smiles dentist may recommend a treatment with fluoride for your teeth as well as increased oral hygiene practices to minimize bacteria and bring down the acidity of saliva.
If you are experiencing cavities, they will go away if they are in the initial stages and mineralization of the mouth remains in balance. However, not all cavities go away. At Berkeley Smiles, we take care of your teeth and get rid of cavities that are too advanced to go away. Our dentist will prevent further damage to teeth and recommend ways to decrease the development of future cavities.