Cavities are caused by tooth decay. Teeth become at risk of decay when plaque, a film on the teeth, formed from the build-up of leftover food and bacteria, is not removed. If the decay expands to the inner layer of the tooth, called the dentin, a cavity begins to develop. Cavities must always be treated by a dentist. However, several natural remedies can be done at home, during the pre-cavity stage, which can help prevent tooth decay and prevent cavities. Aloe vera, avoiding phytic acid, vitamin D, and eating licorice root are proven to help strengthen the enamel and reduce the chances of a cavity from forming.
Aloe Vera is a plant with a long history of being a healing agent. More recently, aloe has become a popular ingredient in tooth gel. Aloe vera tooth gel is considered as effective as toothpaste to fight cavities. Studies showed that aloe vera tooth gel was as effective at controlling cavity-causing enzymes. While more studies are required to prove its capabilities, aloe vera tooth gel may be used to help strengthen the enamel at the pre-cavity stage.
Phytic Acid is a natural substance that can be found in plant seeds. It is referred to as an anti-nutrient, as it impairs the absorption of iron, zinc, calcium, and may promote mineral deficiencies. It also drains minerals away from the bones and teeth, which may cause damage to tooth enamel. Phytic acid is most commonly found in cereals and legumes. Below is a list of foods high in phytic acid:
- Brazil Nuts
- Sesame Seeds
- Wheat Bran
- Wheat Germ
- Wild Rice
Most foods with Phytic acid such as Nuts, seeds and Beans are nutritious and healthy. Key is to break the Phytic acid by soaking, sprouting, or fermenting foods. That makes the foods easily digestible and body could utilize all nutrients from them.
Vitamin D supplements help absorb calcium and phosphate which can increase tooth resistance to harmful bacteria. Also, vitamin D can increase the number of good proteins, which can destroy bacteria in the mouth. Therefore, taking vitamin D supplements can help to prevent cavities.
Studies show that dried licorice root used in traditional Chinese medicine practices can help keep teeth healthy. Licoricidin and Licorisoflavan A, the two main compounds within licorice root were found to inhibit the growth of cavity-causing bacteria. Additional compounds found in licorice root were also found to prevent the growth of bacteria associated with the cause of periodontitis, a disease that can destroy the tissue that maintains strong and healthy teeth. Dried licorice root can be extracted through boiling water and it can also be chewed as a stick on its own. In addition, licorice root is also available in a liquid extract that could be added to a beverage, as capsules, and chewable tablets.