No, tooth decay or cavity cannot be reversed

The viral post reads, "Every time you eat sugar, your teeth are in danger for next 20 minutes, so try brushing your teeth after eating sweets. Your cavities will gradually go away."

By Sunanda Naik  Published on  2 Oct 2022 1:00 PM GMT
No, tooth decay or cavity cannot be reversed

Hyderabad: An Instagram post is claiming that tooth decay can be reversed by brushing your teeth.

The viral post reads, "Every time you eat sugar, your teeth are in danger for next 20 minutes, so try brushing your teeth after eating sweets. Your cavities will gradually go away."



Cavities and tooth decay are among the world's most common health problems. They're especially common in children, teenagers, and older adults. But anyone who has teeth can get cavities, including infants.

Tooth decay could happen at any age. But can it be reversed?

Fact Check

It is generally not advised to brush your teeth right after eating food. According to Mayo Clinic, "If you've eaten an acidic food or drink, avoid brushing your teeth right away. These acids weaken tooth enamel, and brushing too soon can remove enamel."

So over brushing is also not recommended.

Mayo Clinic says, "Cavities are permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of your teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes." Cavities, also called tooth decay or caries, are caused by a combination of factors, including bacteria in your mouth, frequent snacking, sipping sugary drinks and not cleaning your teeth well.

A study by the National Institute of Dental Craniofacial Research suggests, "Enamel can repair itself by using minerals from saliva, and fluoride from toothpaste or other sources. But if the tooth decay process continues, more minerals are lost. Over time, the enamel is weakened and destroyed, forming a cavity. A cavity is permanent damage that a dentist has to repair with a filling."

An article by WebMd said, "Tooth decay is one of the most common dental health problems in children and adults. You can prevent and reverse tooth decay if you catch it early."

In case of tooth decay, don't depend on brushing alone. Reach out to your dentist. Decay or cavities can only be prevented but NOT reversed after a point of time.

According to Cleveland Clinic, "When tooth decay goes untreated for too long, you can lose a large portion of the tooth and need an extraction. Advanced tooth decay can lead to a severe infection inside the tooth and under the gums (tooth abscess). This infection can spread throughout the body. Rarely, infection from a tooth abscess can be fatal."

Here are some of the best treatment options suggested by Healthline:

· Fillings: A resin or composite filling is used for smaller cavities.

· Inlays or onlays: An inlay or onlay is used for cavities that are too large for a normal filling.

· Crowns: A metal or porcelain crown may be necessary when a cavity affects a larger portion of your tooth.

· Root canals: A root canal inserts filling material into the inner part of your tooth, known as the pulp. Root canals are used when the pulp is damaged or infected.

· Extractions: A tooth extraction is reserved for when the tooth decay can no longer be treated

It is evident that cavities cause permanent damage and can only be reversed in the initial phase but brushing after eating is a big NO NO! Hence, the claim is misleading.

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