It’s Not a Cavity . . . Yet
You’re seeing commercials on television that talk about a product’s ability to reverse cavities. So can these products really work? And what works best?
First a little bit of background. A tooth actually develops a “cavity” when bacteria eats through the outer enamel layer of the tooth and gets into the softer dentin layer that lies below the enamel.
In your mouth, these demineralized areas, or “pre-cavities” look like opaque white or brown spots, as shown in the picture below.
We’ve known for several years that you can use fluoride to reverse a pre-cavity, but it requires repeated regular applications of fluoride to accomplish this reversal. Two of the best ways to accomplish this are with application of fluoride varnishes or the daily use of custom fluoride trays at home.
Fluoride varnish is a highly concentrated temporary dose of fluoride. The varnish holds fluoride close to the tooth surface for a longer period of time than other concentrated fluoride products. The varnish, usually tooth colored, is applied by a dental professional. When the varnish is used repeatedly, it can actually reverse the pre-cavity by remineralizing the tooth.
Custom fluoride trays look similar to bleaching trays or whitening trays, but are specifically designed to cover your teeth completely at the gum line. They are fabricated to fit directly over your upper and lower teeth, and are used to hold a few drops of concentrated fluoride on the teeth. For about the cost of having one cavity filled, the custom fluoride trays provide you with a way of doing a professional strength fluoride treatment every day.
To use the custom fluoride trays, we recommend the following regimen:
There are some newer products that are even more effective at reversing pre-cavities. A product called MI Paste can reverse the pre-cavities and often reverse the opaque white spot caused by the pre-cavity. MI Paste works by releasing calcium and phosphate ions into your tooth enamel. It can be brushed on, or can be worn in the custom fluoride trays already mentioned.
There are many effective tools for fighting cavities before they start. Give us a call today so that we can help give you the smile you want.
Doctors from Yale & Case Western Reserve released a study that discovered new bacteria that may be responsible for most premature labor. The Discovery Channel report says that this previously undiscovered bacteria usually found in the mouth may be responsible for up to 80 percent of early pre-term labors. Most importantly, the research indicates that preterm births can be prevented by improved oral hygiene and by the use of targeted antibiotics.
We’ve known for several years now that pregnant women with gum disease problems were at a very high risk for premature labor. Obstetricians and insurance companies have been encouraging expectant mothers to see their dentist at least by their second trimester to have their teeth cleaned and treat any problems with swollen gums.
There is also interesting news to share with new parents. We’ve all seen studies that show how breast feeding helps infants be more healthy. Regarding dental decay on teeth of a newborn, research shows that breast feeding not only does not cause cavities, but it actually deposits calcium and other useful nutrients onto the enamel. It has helps prevent decay!
In our community, we still see too many children that have very high decay rates. We learned about seven to eight years ago that if either parent has a high decay rate when their child’s first teeth erupt, their child will have a much greater chance of always having decay problems. All of us understand that parents are going to be in close contact with their baby – including kisses and hugs. The close contact causes the bacteria in a parent’s mouth to get spread to their child. So if the parent has bacteria that have caused lots of cavities, that bacteria gets spread to the child. This information shows how important it is for parents to see their dentist – for their child’s sake.
Dr. Moorhead and his team write about dental news, and answer patient questions.