Anyone who has teeth is susceptible to the development of cavities, as there are no surefire ways to completely prevent a cavity despite routine tooth brushing, flossing, and other dental care. Over time, teeth age and so do their natural defenses, which makes tooth decay much easier to take place. When a cavity starts to form, a toothache is usually the result. In order to cure this irritating and often painful occurrence before heading to the dentist – there are plenty of natural suggestions to consider.
What are Cavities?
The advancement of dental procedures and dental care products on the market has caused a serious dent in the number of cavities that people on the whole will face. The sticky film of bacteria known as plaque is responsible for the onset of cavity production, as sugars and starches produce an acid that weakens and then destroys teeth . The longer that plaque is allowed to stay on the teeth, the higher the chances of encountering a cavity become.
To better understand the conditions that cause cavities to form, consider all of the activity that occurs in the mouth. About the teeth, gums, tongue and even lips – collections of bacteria thrive. This part of the process is normal, as bacteria are naturally found all over the body. It is also important to note that not all bacteria in the mouth is entirely harmful and in some cases, even serves a helpful purpose. However, if the kinds of bacteria that threaten the overall health of your mouth are left to accumulate – they will strongly attach to the tooth enamel – creating the filmy substance of plaque .
How Plaque Causes Cavities 
The hard coating on the outside of your teeth is called enamel, which is quite hard due to the strong mineral salts (including calcium) that makes up its construction. Your saliva also contains these same mineral salts, which help to elevate the hardness of your teeth. Unfortunately, mineral salts are still vulnerable to acid attacks, which can cause erosion and breakdown.
Sugar helps leftover plaque on the teeth to produce an acid that eats away at teeth. This is why proper tooth brushing is needed to remove this damaging substance. Saliva in the mouth also helps to wash away plaque, but plaque acid is harder to wash away with saliva and continues to weaken tooth enamel. The surface of enamel soon becomes porous where tiny holes start to form. Over time, the acid causes the minute hole to turn into one larger hole, which is then called a cavity.
Signs and Symptoms of Cavities
It is the intensity and location of a cavity that determines the signs and symptoms that an individual will encounter. At the start of a cavity, there are no symptoms at all to speak of for some people. Once tooth decay worsens, this is when you begin to experience a toothache or pain in surrounding teeth. Additional signs and symptoms include:
Teeth may become sensitive, especially when one eats or drinks foods and beverages that show extremes in temperature. This may include a scoop of ice cream or a hot cup of coffee. Mild or sharp pains usually arise when this symptom is present.
b) Lingering Discomfort:
When pain continues to become a factor long after you have eaten something hot, cold, or sweet – a cavity is usually the culprit.
c) Visible Tooth Changes:
Holes or pits in the teeth are signs of a developing cavity.
d) Additional Pain:
Sometimes, people experience pain when they bite down or chew their food – another possible sign of a cavity.
In the worst cases, pus may form around the tooth .
Risk Factors of Cavities
While all people are at risk for suffering the effects of a bothersome cavity, there are certain habits and lifestyles that cause some to face a higher risk of developing a cavity. They include:
Consuming certain foods and drinks causes people to suffer a higher rate of tooth decay. One of the biggest threats includes carbohydrates that ferment. These sorts of foods, such as milk, soda, cake, dried fruit, cookies, bread, and potato chips stick to the teeth and remain in place for long stretches of time.
People who live in regions where dental care is scarce or too costly will face a higher risk of suffering more than one cavity.
c) Poor Dental Habits: If you don’t properly brush your teeth on a regular basis, then plaque accumulates, which leads to the erosion of your teeth.
The older you are, the more teeth become susceptible to cavities, which is a natural process of the everyday wear and tear that comes with age.
e) Receding Gums & Gum Disease:
If you suffer from gum disease or have receding gums, the spaces left behind can become filled with plaque that eventually travels to the roots of teeth when left untreated.
f) Dry Mouth:
A lack of saliva causes the mouth to become dry, which means you don’t have the added benefit of the minerals found in saliva that can wash away plaque.
g) Previous Dental Work:
A person with rough dental fillings or dental work that has weakened over the years, is more susceptible to plaque accumulation that becomes much more difficult to remove.
h) Eating Disorders:
Anorexia and bulimia are known to contribute to the erosion of teeth, which allows cavities to develop at a faster rate.
The Negative Effects of Cavities
When cavities are left untreated, a simple filling can turn into a root canal, which not only causes more pain, but also costs more money to treat. Cavities are often associated with low self-esteem because some people equate their presence with poor hygiene habits. As cavities worsen, people face complications that can become life threatening when ignored. This may include unrelenting pain, tooth abscesses, chewing difficulties, infection, broken teeth, and tooth loss. Sometimes, the pain is so intense with a cavity that adults miss work and children stay home from school as a result.
Natural Cures for Cavities
To combat the symptoms or presence of a cavity, consider the following natural cure suggestions, which involves a collection of well known kitchen ingredients:
Cloves actually contains eugenol, a chemical that possesses natural antiseptic and anesthetic properties. For thousands of years, ground cloves have been noted as an ancient dental care treatment. Interestingly, dentists use a mixture of zinc ozide and eugenol before filling teeth. At home, moisten one teaspoon of powdered cloves in olive oil and saturate a bothersome cavity. Oil of cloves is also quite helpful. It is suggested to apply two to five drops of clove oil to affected areas .
With stimulating properties that encourage the salivary glands to cleanse the mouth, cheese will actually protect teeth from tooth decay when eaten after a meal. It is suggested to pop in a few ounces of hard cheese, which contains fatty acids that possess antibacterial ingredients. The protein in cheese also coats and protects tooth enamel. Cheese is also associated with the prevention of root cavities .
Licorice root is known to battle against the presence of cavities, as well as reduces the plaque that leads to tooth decay.
Rub moistened allspice along the gum line to soothe the pain associated with a toothache caused by a cavity.
e) Thyme and Coriander:
These two spices are known to possess antibacterial properties that when made into a tea – creates a great mouth rinse for after meals.
You may boil two teaspoons of sage with two cups of water to create a mouth rinse that reduces the decay of cavities through its antibacterial property. Don’t forget to allow the rinse to cool for 15 minutes before swishing in your mouth for a couple of minutes.
g) Jamaica Dogwood:
Since Jamaica dogwood is known to ease nerve pain; the root bark of the tree has been used in natural cures for treating toothaches and the pangs of cavities .
 Earl Mindell’s New Herb Bible by Earl Mindell (pg. 244)
 The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants by Andrew Chevallier (pg. 249)