Tooth remineralization is the consistent process in a healthy mouth. You can prevent your teeth from demineralization by taking good oral care.
Our oral cavity is gifted with the natural protective mechanism. Saliva contributes a lot to protect the oral cavity from dental disease.
Saliva prevents the tooth from bacterial attack and promotes teeth remineralization. (1)
With the natural protective mechanism of saliva, you can increase the rate of teeth remineralization by making dietary changes, maintaining good oral hygiene, etc.
Let us move ahead to know more about teeth remineralization.
What is teeth remineralization?
Tooth remineralization is the natural process which occurs to replenish the tooth enamel. The bacteria in the oral cavity produce acid and cause demineralization of a tooth.
In reaction, body rebuilds the enamel on a daily basis. The rate of demineralization to remineralization is always in contrast. When the disproportion occurs, the tooth decay initiates.
Tooth enamel is the porous structure and shows numerous tiny holes. Minerals, other substances, acids, etc. can enter the enamel through these holes.
When acid enters the enamel, it causes demineralization and washes off the minerals from enamel. To replenish the demineralized enamel, minerals enter the enamel through saliva.
If you want to protect the tooth enamel, then you have to limit the acidity of the oral cavity. Also, you have to increase the proportion of calcifying materials in your saliva to strengthen the tooth.
The benefit of teeth remineralization include –
- Minimizes tooth sensitivity.
- Eliminated pain associated with decay.
- Reclaim the function of damaged teeth.
- Maintain the integrity of the tooth.
Role of saliva in natural teeth remineralization
Saliva is the watery liquid secreted by major and minor salivary glands. Saliva continually circulates through the oral cavity and plays a vital role in teeth remineralization process.
Saliva carries out teeth remineralization by following actions –
- Buffering action – Saliva is the natural buffering agent and maintain the pH of the oral cavity. Enamel starts to demineralize at the acidic pH. Saliva neutralizes the acids and prevents demineralization of enamel.
- Maintenance of tooth integrity – Saliva contains natural minerals such as calcium, fluoride, phosphate, etc. These minerals are the vital component of enamel and help to rebuild the tooth structure. Saliva delivers these necessary mineral content to tooth enamel.
- Antibacterial activity – Saliva is antibacterial. It kills or prevents the growth of bacteria responsible for tooth decay. (2)
- Clearance action – Saliva is the watery substance that smoothly flows in the oral cavity. Hence, saliva helps to wash off the bacteria, acid, food particles and plaque from the tooth surface. It prevents the enamel from demineralization process.
- Fight against decay – The fluoride content of the saliva gets incorporated in the hydroxyapatite crystal of enamel. The combination forms the fluorapatite coating over the tooth surface which fights against the decay process.
The preventive measures if appropriately followed can prevent the demineralization of the enamel. Here are some preventive strategies that can help to protect the enamel.
The process of remineralization occurs on a daily basis and the rate of remineralization process depends on what you eat.
Hence, necessary dietary changes recommended for improving the rate of teeth remineralization process. The diet modification needed for enamel remineralization include –
- Do not consume the food containing phytic acid. Phytic acid dissolves the calcifying agents required for replenishing the tooth and thereby prevent the teeth remineralization. Calcium is the key component of enamel. Phytic acid is also known to cause the calcium chelation and washes off the calcium mineral from the enamel.
- Consume more minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, etc.
- Consume food rich in vitamin D. Vitamin D has shown to prevent the tooth demineralization process.
- Consume food such as wild-caught fatty fish, leafy green vegetables, cheese, grass-fed jerky, bone broth, etc. These type of food cause rapid tooth mineralization.
- Cut off the sugar from your diet. Sugar is responsible for tooth decay process, and it increases the rate of tooth demineralization. So limit the sugar intake to prevent the enamel damage.
2. Follow good oral hygiene regimen
Good oral hygiene regimen is essential to maintain the oral health. Our mouth is rich in bacteria which continually produce acids to cause tooth demineralization.
Hence, timely washing off the bacteria and acid is required to protect the enamel. Practice the following oral hygiene regimen –
- Brush your teeth with soft bristle toothbrush. Practice brushing the appropriately for adequate time. Brush your teeth in the morning and before bed.
- Floss regularly to clean the area which is not accessible to the toothbrush.
- Use a mouth rinse to wash off the bacteria and maintain the pH of the oral cavity.
3. Use of fluoride
Fluoride is the essential mineral which prevents the tooth from bacterial attack. Fluoride minimizes the rate of tooth demineralization and tooth decay. Water is the primary source of fluoride.
However, use of fluoride-containing toothpaste and mouth rinse are recommended for better results.
5. Use of remineralization products
Tooth remineralization products contain fluoride and natural calcium. Calcium helps to rebuild the enamel layer, and fluoride prevents the tooth demineralization.
Use of remineralizing products enhances the rate of remineralization. Also, remineralizing agent, CPP-ACP, holds the minerals in a form that is easily absorbable by tooth.
The high mineral content strengthens the enamel and promotes remineralization. (3)
6. Hydration therapy
Drink ample amount of water for saliva production. Saliva acts as the natural defense against plaque and also deliver the essential component for teeth remineralization to the enamel.
So, keep yourself hydrated to promote teeth remineralization.
7. Regular dental visits
Regular dental check-up help in early detection of the tooth decay. The tooth demineralization can be prevented if the decay noticed earlier.
Also, depending on the need, the dentist may advise the use of sealants to prevent the demineralization process. (4) Hence, regular dental visits are necessary to have a check on oral health.
The mineral loss is inevitable, but preventive measures and natural activity of saliva can control the demineralization process.
So, instead of worrying about the tooth demineralization, start taking the measure to enhance the teeth remineralization process.