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How to Reverse Tooth Decay

How to reverse tooth decay

Have you heard the claim that all dentists know how to reverse tooth decay but have kept it a secret to continue making money off of unsuspecting patients?

Well, the actual truth is that dentists genuinely want to help people…

… but most haven’t been trained to heal teeth and don’t know how it works. This post will show you that, in fact, you can heal teeth, (it’s not a trade secret either).

How Does Reversing Tooth Decay Work?

How does it work? Simple anatomy and chemistry.

Most of the rest of the body can heal itself and does so on a regular basis . . . so, of course, the teeth can heal as well.

But to see how it works, let’s revisit tooth anatomy…

There are two outside layers in your teeth:

  1. The enamel is hard, made up of mineral crystals.

  2. The dentin is softer and filled with miles of tubules.

Now, remember how cavities form from my last week’s post?

The first step in the tooth decay process is minerals being pulled out of the teeth because they are needed elsewhere or dissolved by acids…

Once these minerals are gone, the bacteria creep into the enamel.


The second step happens once the bacteria get all the way to the dentin. They infect the dentin…

…and the infection (decay) spreads quickly because there is a superhighway of tubes filled with fluid to travel along.

You can heal teeth by adding minerals or remineralizing…

…as long as the decay has not moved into the deeper dentin layer. Once the decay has moved into the dentin, the minerals aren’t going to be as effective.

This answers the number one question I get about healing teeth…

“can any tooth be healed?”

Now you know the answer.

How Can You Remineralize Teeth or Reverse Tooth Decay?

Two basic things need to happen to reverse tooth decay…

  1. You need to reduce the acid in your mouth to prevent further mineral loss

  2. You need to strengthen the tooth. Preventive measures such as using fluoride, maintaining good dental hygiene, regular visits to the dentist, and applying sealants are crucial to prevent tooth decay.

Let’s talk about how you can accomplish both of those things.

Reducing Acid in Your Mouth

Every time you eat, your mouth becomes more acidic…

It’s the first step in the digestive process and necessary to help digest your food.

In a healthy mouth and body, saliva quickly clears the food and acid out and helps the mouth return to a neutral level. Dental plaque, a sticky film of bacteria and sugar, forms on your teeth and contributes to tooth decay by producing acids that attack the enamel.

…in fact, saliva is a very important factor in remineralization and reversing tooth decay.

Saliva It is what carries the minerals back to your teeth and the saliva returns your mouth to a neutral level if given enough time.

This is where frequent snacking or sipping gets you in trouble…

If I see a patient with a lot of dental decay . . . I ask them about their snacking and sipping habits.

Some people tell me they drink soda, but only one can a day, sipping it slowly throughout the day.


They think they are doing a good thing, but that’s the most damaging way to drink a sugary drink (diet soda and fruit juice included.)

I tell them if they are going to drink soda, they should swig the entire can and be done with it.

Okay, pick up your jaw from the floor . . . here’s why.

Every time that soda enters the mouth, it makes the mouth more acidic. If someone sips soda every 45 minutes, the saliva never has long enough to help the mouth recover from that acid attack. The enamel will dissolve and the decaying process begins to accelerate.

The other problem is too little saliva.

Medications will often cause dry mouth as a side effect. I’ve seen a patient with a healthy mouth one visit return with ten cavities the next.

What changed? They were put on a blood pressure medication and had a dry mouth as a result.

Without that protective and remineralizing saliva, the teeth dissolved and the bacteria moved in to finish the job…

…and without reducing the acid in your mouth, reverse tooth decay is not possible.

How to reduce acid in your mouth

The first way to reduce acid in your mouth is to stop putting it there!

I’m not talking about a tomato or pineapple with a meal . . . your saliva will take care of that.

I’m talking about acidic drinks and the overuse of acidic foods that don’t allow for reverse tooth decay.

The Most Acidic Beverages and Foods

My sons did a science fair project studying the effect of different drinks on tooth enamel…

They soaked extracted teeth in seven different liquids and then measured the amount of enamel loss. Their findings were interesting, and I think they will surprise you!

They think they are doing a good thing, but that’s the most damaging way to drink a sugary drink… Sugary foods also play a significant role in dental health issues. When sugar mixes with bacteria in the mouth, it forms acid that leads to tooth decay and cavities. Limiting the intake of free sugars and avoiding sugary foods and drinks like pop, juice, and candy is crucial for preventing dental problems.

And if you are wondering about the validity of a high school science fair project . . . I’ve found research from dental journals that shows the same thing.  🙂

This chart lists the most acidic (therefore most destructive) drinks from least acidic to most acidic.

Beverage Acid pH
Water                                                                                         7.0 (neutral)
Sports Drinks
Skinny Water Goji Fruit Punch 3.67 (0.01)
Activ Water Power Strawberry Kiwi 3.38 (0.03)
Sobe Life Water Mango Melon 3.29 (0.01)
Dasani Grape 3.05 (0.01)
Dasani Strawberry 3.03 (0.01)
Propel Berry 3.01 (0.00)
Gatorade Lemon-Lime 2.97 (0.01)
Activ Water Focus Dragonfruit 2.82 (0.04)
Powerade Orange 2.75 (0.02)
Activ Water Vigor Triple Berry 2.67 (0.01)
Fruit Juices & Fruit Drinks
V8 Fusion Pomegranate Blueberry 3.66 (0.00)
Juicy Juice Apple 3.64 (0.01)
Minute Maid Natural Energy Mango Tropical 3.34 (0.02)
CapriSun Surfer Cooler 3.08 (0.00)
V8 Splash Strawberry Kiwi 2.99 (0.01)
Crystal Light Fruit Punch 2.96 (0.02)
Sunny D Smooth 2.92 (0.01)
Tropicana Twister Orange Strawberry Banana Burst 2.89 (0.01)
Ocean Spray Cran-Pomegranate 2.72 (0.01)
Kool-Aid Mix Cherry 2.71 (0.00)
Barber’s Lemonade 2.69 (0.00)
Sobe Black and Blueberry Brew 2.69 (0.00)
Tropicana Juice Beverage Cranberry 2.59 (0.00)
Canada Dry Club Soda 5.24 (0.03)
A&W Root Beer 4.27 (0.02)
A&W Cream Soda 3.86 (0.01)
7UP Diet 3.48 (0.00)
Mountain Dew Code Red 3.27 (0.01)
Sprite 3.24 (0.05)
Dr. Pepper Diet 3.20 (0.00)
Coca-Cola Diet 3.10 (0.05)
Sierra Mist 3.09 (0.02)
Mellow Yellow 3.03 (0.00)
Sunkist Orange 2.98 (0.01)
Coca-Cola Zero 2.96 (0.03)
Hawaiian Punch (Fruit Juicy Red) 2.87 (0.01)
Pepsi 2.39 (0.03)
Coca-Cola Caffeine Free 2.34 (0.03)
Energy Drinks
Fuel Energy Shots Lemon Lime 3.97 (0.01)
Redbull regular 3.43 (0.01)
Nitrous Monster Super Dry 3.46 (0.00)
Killer Buzz Sugar-Free 3.36 (0.00)
Redline Xtreme Triple Berry 3.24 (0.01)
Full Throttle Blue Agave 3.10 (0.01)
No Fear Sugar-Free 3.06 (0.01)
Jolt Blue Bolt 2.96 (0.00)
Rockstar Recovery 2.84 (0.01)
Redline Peach Mango 2.74 (0.02)
24:7 Energy Cherry Berry 2.61 (0.01)
Tea and Coffee
Starbucks Medium Roast 5.11 (0.05)
Red Diamond Tea Fresh Brewed Sweet Tea 5.04 (0.02)
Milo’s Famous Sweet Tea 4.66 (0.02)
Admiral Iced Tea Sweet Tea 3.76 (0.01)
Snapple Diet Raspberry Tea 3.39 (0.02)
Lipton Green Tea With Citrus Diet 2.92 (0.00)
Nestea Red Tea Pomegranate and Passion Fruit 2.87 (0.01)
Arizona Iced Tea 2.85 (0.03)

Teeth start to dissolve at a pH of 5.5.

The acid is more important than the sugar in the destruction of tooth structure.

Sorry diet soda drinkers . . .  that artificial sweetener will do nothing to protect the health of your teeth.

In my son’s study, they also tested the Crystal Light diet drink . . . and it was found to be the most destructive of any of the liquids they tested!

It’s the acid, not the sugar!

Acidity of Common Foods

Some foods may be surprising in their acidity. We know lemon juice is acidic, but most fruit juices are as well (listed least to most acidic).

Beverage     Acid pH
Tomatoes 4.30–4.90
Oranges 3.69–4.34
Peaches 3.30–4.05
Apples 3.30–4.00
Pineapples 3.20–4.00
Blueberries 3.12–3.33
Grapefruits 3.00–3.75
Pomegranates 2.93–3.20
Grapes 2.90–3.82
Blue Plums 2.80–3.40
Limes 2.00–2.80
Lemon Juice 2.00–2.60

Some other surprising foods that are acidic

  • Sweeteners, such as sugar, molasses, maple syrup, processed honey, and aspartame
  • Condiments, such as mayonnaise, soy sauce, and vinegar
  • Hard and processed cheeses
  • Coffee

The second way to reduce acid and reverse tooth decay is to make sure you give your saliva time to do its work.

Wait at least a couple of hours between eating or drinking anything other than water or simple herbal tea.

How to Replace Minerals in the Teeth to Reverse Tooth Decay

The enamel in your teeth acts like a tiny receiving dock…

Your teeth are in constant flux, with the saliva removing and returning minerals throughout the day and night.

As long as more minerals are being deposited then removed, your teeth will stay healthy.

On that receiving dock, you see to the side, if the doors to the warehouse are closed . . . it doesn’t matter how many minerals are delivered.

To keep the “doors” open on your tooth so the minerals can get in, the tooth must be clean…

Regular cleaning will do the trick, but make sure you aren’t using a tooth care product that contains glycerine! Using fluoride toothpaste is also crucial as it helps protect enamel, prevent tooth decay, and remineralize the tooth enamel.

Glycerine will coat the tooth and the minerals can’t get in. Most commercial kinds of toothpaste contain glycerine, which is one big reason to avoid them.

My tooth powder** has the minerals your teeth need to reverse decay WITHOUT any of the glycerine**

Minerals must be present in the saliva

When the saliva comes to make a delivery, it needs to be full of minerals to spare. Ensuring this mineral delivery is crucial for maintaining oral health, as it supports the remineralization process that strengthens tooth enamel and prevents decay.

Now we’ve all been taught to take calcium supplements to build your bones and teeth…

…but that’s not the whole story.

Let’s take a journey with that calcium pill you took this morning.

Down the hatch it goes, through the stomach and into the intestines.

It is then absorbed through the intestinal wall and enters the bloodstream….

…looking good so far.

The bones are needing a little extra calcium today, so the calcium heads over there…

…and it’s REJECTED!

That’s right – bones tend to reject calcium – that’s the first problem with a calcium supplement.1

The calcium needs to be accompanied by two friends…

  1. Vitamin D3

  2. Vitamin K2

…in order for it to be effectively absorbed and used.


Without these helper nutrients, calcium builds up in the plaque in coronary arteries and creates stones in organs.

In fact, without adequate Vitamin D3 levels, your body will only absorb 10-15% of the calcium from your diet or supplements.

Vitamin K2 is then needed to direct that calcium to the proper location.

Think of Vitamin D3 as the gatekeeper and Vitamin K2 as the traffic cop.

The gate can be open, but without direction there is chaos. Both are essential for healthy teeth.


Use the Tooth Remineralization Game Plan below to add more minerals to your system.

Tooth Remineralization Game Plan

  1. Instead of toothpaste that contains glycerine, use a tooth powder that contains hydroxyapatite and the minerals your teeth need for repair.

  2. Take a Vitamin D3/K2 supplement. 5,000-10,000 IU Vit D3 with 300-500 mcg Vit K2 per day. (this is not the same as Vit K1 which affects clotting.)

  3. Take minerals that are absorbable. My Tooth and Bone Formula is specially formulated with minerals the teeth need to get stronger and become cavity resistant.

The goal of this game plan is to reverse cavities and strengthen your teeth.

These remineralization products can sometimes be difficult to find . . . and previously my patients had to search local health food stores or sites all over the internet to find these products.

To make it easier for my patients and my audience I found the best forms of these products and have them available to purchase on my Living Well with Dr. Michelle website.

Click here to find my remineralizing tooth powder.

Click here to find the tooth remineralization supplements (which contains my Tooth and Bone Formula and Vitamin D3/K2)

When Remineralization Is Not Enough

If the cavity is still in the enamel layer . . . you CAN remineralize and heal the tooth.

However, if the cavity has moved into the dentin, untreated cavities can lead to deeper tissue damage, infections, and even tooth loss if not addressed by a dentist.

…most times you will need to have that decayed dentin removed to stop the spread of the cavity.

Once the decayed dentin is removed you will then need to fill the hole with resin filling material or cover the area over with porcelain depending on how large the hole the decay created.

How do you know if the cavity has spread to the deeper dentin layer and how you can reverse tooth decay?

It can be seen on an x-ray, and cavity detecting lasers can tell how deep the cavity is.

Both require a trip to the dentist . . . but now you know EXACTLY what to ask on your next visit.

Schedule Your New Patient Exam With Total Care Dental & Wellness

With a comprehensive exam, you’ll receive:

  • A low dose cone beam 3d Dental Xray (CBCT)
  • Tooth Xrays
  • Dental photographs
  • A comprehensive gum exam with an intraoral scan
  • A comprehensive oral exam by a Total Care Doctor
  • Jaw joint exam
  • Oxygen, Sleep, and Airway Evaluation

You will leave the appointment with a report of findings and treatment recommendations from your doctor and care coordinator. Visiting the dentist regularly is crucial for early detection of cavities and preventing tooth decay from progressing. Finances, scheduling, and other instructions will also be provided.


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