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Breaking Down Myths about Cavities and Fillings: Separating Fact from Fiction

August 28, 2023

Despite improved technology in dentistry, millions of adults and children still struggle with cavities or tooth caries. Dental fillings are an excellent way to treat cavities and protect your tooth against further damage. Tooth filling also improves your tooth's strength and eliminates oral discomfort.


However, many myths and misconceptions surrounding tooth cavities and filling often lead to misinformation and confusion. In this article, let’s learn how sugar-free or diet drinks can affect your teeth, how diet can help manage cavities, and explore various natural remedies for treating cavities.

Can Sugar-Free or Diet Drinks Cause Cavities?

Most people grew up knowing that sweets and sugary drinks like soda cause cavities. Thus, a common myth is that sugar-free or diet drinks are harmless and can’t cause cavities. While these items don’t contain processed sugars, they still pose a risk of dental cavities. However, the risk may be lower than drinks with added sugars.

Below are key ways how these drinks can lead to cavities:

  • Acidity: Many diet or sugar-free beverages contain acidic ingredients like phosphoric or citric acid. Over time, these acids erode or wear down your teeth’ enamel, making them more susceptible to decay and cavities. Visit our dentist in South Austin, TX, if your teeth are decayed or eroded.
  • Artificial sweeteners: While some sugar substitutes cannot impact dental health, artificial sweeteners can lead to tooth decay. For instance, research has shown that diet drinks with sucralose sweeteners can lead to cavities.

Limiting your intake of these items can lower your risk of cavities. Whenever possible, opt for non-acidic and water beverages.

Can Diet and Nutrition Help Prevent and Heal Cavities?

Besides sugar, another common myth is that cavities are inevitable and can’t be reversed. However, recent research has shown that a healthy and well-balanced diet can help prevent and heal early-stage cavities. Below are key ways how:

  • Healthy and well-balanced diet: Eating a balanced diet rich in calcium, phosphorous, potassium, and vitamin D helps remineralize your enamel and strengthen your teeth, healing and preventing new cavities. Healthy foods like cheese and nuts also stimulate saliva production, lowering your risk of cavities.
  • Diets lower in sugar and acids: Sugary and acidic foods and drinks can lead to enamel erosion, increasing your risk of cavities and decay. Limiting or avoiding sugary and acidic items can help maintain healthy and strong teeth.
  • Fluoride-rich foods: Fluoride is key in strengthening your enamel and preventing cavities. Common food sources for fluoride include fish, tea, and fluoridated water.

Are There Any Natural Remedies For Treating Cavities?

Several natural remedies can help treat cavities and promote oral health. However, since most of these remedies haven’t been scientifically proven or have limited evidence, it’s essential to approach them cautiously. They include:

  • Oil pulling: This remedy involves swishing essential oils like coconut, olive, or sesame oil in the mouth for several seconds and then spitting. It helps eliminate food debris, plaque, and bacteria, significantly lowering your risk of cavities and other oral problems.
  • Xylitol: Xylitol is a common sugar alternative that can positively impact oral health. Xylitol is derived from plants and can help reduce the growth of harmful oral bacteria and promote enamel remineralization. It can help reverse early-stage cavities and prevent new ones.
  • Green tea: Green tea contains catechins with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that inhibit the growth of oral bacteria and plaque buildup. Drinking tea can prevent or reverse cavities.
  • Fluoride water: Fluoride water helps restore lost minerals to your enamel, reversing cavities and strengthening teeth.

When to See Your Dentist

Usually, diet and home remedies can only reverse early-stage cavities or enamel erosion. However, if your cavity has progressed beyond the enamel tooth, professional dental care is essential to treat the area and prevent future complications. Common treatments for cavities include dental fillings, crowns, root canals, and tooth extractions.

Are you interested in Dental fillings in South Austin?

For more information about preventing and reversing cavities, contact Peak Dental – South Austin to book an appointment with our dentist near you.

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