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Can Teeth Heal Themselves Over Time?

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When it comes to teeth, many dental patients assume that all damage is permanent and only fixable through extensive dentistry. Teeth are mostly composed of minerals, meaning they lack the living cells that are necessary to replenish lost tissue, but they are not totally helpless. Your body has evolved several different methods to ensure your teeth can repair themselves from normal erosion, but not everything is reversible. Below are four common forms of dental damage, as well as their likelihood of making a natural recovery.  

Enamel Loss

The earliest form of tooth decay occurs when harmful bacteria and acidic foods chew through the outer layer of your tooth, which is known as the enamel. Once that hard, outer shell is destroyed, the bacteria are able to infiltrate the vulnerable dentin at your tooth's core, creating a cavity as they go. Your mouth is constantly replenishing your teeth's enamel through saliva, which carries calcium that acts like a fresh coat of paint on the tooth. If your saliva cannot repair the enamel faster than it is damaged, you may need to turn to remineralization gels or specialized toothpaste to make up the difference. 


A cavity is the empty space left behind when bacteria burrow through a tooth, and it typically cannot be repaired naturally. This is especially true for a standard cavity occurring near the top of the tooth, where there are almost no living cells or blood flow. Very minor cavities that develop within a crack on your tooth's surface may experience some remineralization, but these are rare and the damage must be stopped quickly. In most cases, you will need to see a dentist to have the cavity filled in artificially. 

Tooth Decay From Gum Disease

When you suffer from gum disease, your gums draw back and expose the lower portions of your teeth to harm. The negative effects will become more noticeable as time passes, but the worst impact takes place below your receding gum line, as the bones holding your teeth in place begin to waste away. If it hurts for you to brush or floss, visit a dentist to begin reversing the condition. The good news is that it is possible for your jawbone to strengthen itself again, but it will take time and diligent dental hygiene to return your mouth to normal.


Trauma from blunt force is a frequent cause of lost, cracked and chipped teeth, and the prognosis for natural recovery largely depends on the extent of the damage done. Whenever you are hit in the mouth or jaw, schedule an exam with a doctor or dentist to check for fractures and inspect your teeth. Cracked teeth almost never heal by themselves and usually get worse the longer they go without treatment, so don't rely on your body's remineralization efforts to fix the issue. Whenever you are concerned about your dental health, it is better to seek a professional opinion and have your fears put to rest, rather than allowing the problem to progress unchecked. Go to site like this for more information.