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Remineralization of Teeth
August 2020 / DENTISTRY
It has long been understood that under certain conditions teeth can repair, remineralize and heal - just like bones. Enamel is 96% minerals, making it very hard, but it is also porous leading to dissolution and absorption of its minerals. Cavities form when enamel is demineralized and dissolved, but you can heal some small cavities by remineralization. Shallow smooth surface demineralized areas (surfaces between teeth and on the cheek and tongue sides) can, under the right conditions, remineralize and improve. Biting surface cavities can never remineralize. The key is to provide the right environment for less demineralization and more remineralization.
Demineralization occurs when enamel suffers acid breakdown as plaque bacteria convert sugar into acid. If something isn't done it may get large enough to require a filling.
Ways to Promote Remineralize Teeth:
- Brush and floss - thoroughly and routinely to disperse the acid producing bacterial plaque and sugars. (Most important)
- Promote alkalinity (opposite of acidity) intra-orally - eat alkaline foods (non-sugary, non-acidic), drink alkaline water and use alkaline mouthwash to increase your mouth's pH.
- Vegetables - eating vegetables provide vitamins, minerals and an alkaline environment. They are also fibrous so the chewing action helps clean your teeth.
- Oil pulling - reduces intraoral bacterial counts which decreases demineralization.
- Tongue scraper - removes detrimental bacteria from the often plaquey tongue (yellow white coating).
- Limit sugar and complex carbohydrates - limiting sugar can change the make-up of your plaque to one which produces less acid and therefore causes less demineralization.
- Increase saliva flow - drink more water, use a humidifier, use sugarless gum to maximize the washing effect and protective nature of saliva.
- Glycerine-free toothpaste - many toothpastes (even "natural" ones) contain glycerine which adds a slippery coating to your teeth making remineralization more challenging.
- Xylitol - a sugar alcohol naturally produced in the body helps remineralize teeth. Found in gums and candies, but beware .. the evidence says you need to chew a lot of gum daily to maximize the benefits.
- Vitamin D - helps your teeth remineralize.
- Eat a mineral rich/non-processed food diet - nuts, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, dark leafy greens give your body the elements it needs to remineralize enamel. A supplement like fulvic acid (plant based mineral supplement) may be beneficial.
- Use M. 1. Paste - made from milk proteins it is supersaturated with calcium to help provide remineralizing elements directly into enamel surface.
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