Prevent & Heal First, Cut Last: The Biologic Approach to Cavities

“Drill and fill” is a losing strategy when it comes to dealing with tooth decay. Our preventive, minimally invasive approach provides a better way.

Cavities Are a Warning Sign

Everyone seems to expect to get cavities. Few people understand why they happen, especially when they brush and floss as they should.

Cavities tell us that there are likely deeper issues with nutrition and gut health. A diet void of ultraprocessed food and rich in vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients that go into making healthy saliva are what’s needed to keep your teeth healthy and strong.

If one of these factors is changed, you tip the scales in favor of harmful bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans that cause decay.

Inside a healthy, well-mineralized tooth, fluid flows in an outward direction, pushing away S. mutans and other potential intruders. But when a body shifts from a healthy, alkaline state to an acidic state of disease, minerals get stripped from the teeth, as well as the supporting bone. The fluid flow reverses. Intruders are pulled into structurally weakened teeth.

More, when oral pH drops below 5.5, S. mutans can make lactic acid, which eats into the teeth. Presto: cavities.

Critical Nutrients for Keeping Teeth Healthy

Vitamins A, D, K2, and C are some of the most important nutrients for dental health. Vitamin D helps special cells called odontoblasts lay down more tooth structure when the tooth is under bacterial attack. It also transports calcium, while A and K2 are activators that direct calcium out of the soft tissue and into the hard.

Not only do healthy teeth need healthy bone to support them; they also need healthy gums. For that, vitamin C is necessary – the body’s most potent antioxidant.

While many other nutrients, such as trace minerals, have important roles to play in maintaining a healthy mouth, these four play outstanding roles in the process.

The Biologic Approach Is a Proactive Approach

While there are times when disease is so far advanced that a filling or crown is needed, here at Bruno Integrative Dentistry, we believe the best approach is to help you heal and prevent decay in the first place.

Proper nutrition is where it starts. It doesn’t need to be hard. We recommend the 80/20 rule of a plant-based diet: 80% of your plate being organic, recently harvested fruits and vegetables, and 20% grass-fed and finished lean meats and/or wild, sustainable fish. When grocery shopping, stick to the perimeter. That’s where all the nutrient-dense, non-processed foods are. If it’s in a box, can, or other package, it’s likely a poor choice to help support your body’s biological processes.

Just as important is clearing environmental and biological toxins from the body. Their burden is often a reason behind nutrient deficiencies. Heavy metals, parasites, harmful bacteria and their waste products, and other toxins can hamper the immune system and weaken your ability to maintain your body’s needed mineral density.

Think of it in terms of your body’s energy flow. If your body is busy dealing with any toxic burden – including infection – that’s taking away from its ability to tend to other metabolic tasks, such as renewing and regenerating the cells.

For this reason, it’s important to make sure that your body’s defense systems remain in good working order: that your liver is producing proper bile to bind toxins; that your kidneys and liver have good drainage to excrete toxins; that your lymph drainage is primed to help kill viruses and other pathogens; that your tissues are well oxygenated, as pathogens can’t live in a high-oxygen environment; that the mitochondria of your cells are generating enough energy.

If these core body processes are impaired, the body retains more toxins, adding to its burden. It just can’t run at full efficiency. Your body begins giving up resources that are needed just to keep the human machine running in its natural state of good health.

Providing nutritional guidance tailored specifically to your needs and supporting your body’s ability to self-regulate and heal is a key part of our approach.

Ozone to the Rescue

If you do have cavities, it’s not all bad news. In their early stages, they can actually be healed. We use ozone gas first to decontaminate the tooth, then provide a remineralizing toothpaste to use on an ongoing basis to strengthen the enamel.

Ozone can also be used preventatively, to reduce the risk of decay. You’ll be fitted with custom ozone trays that fit around all your teeth so they can be fully bathed in ozone to keep the teeth clean and strong. Three weekly 5-minute sessions get you started, followed by regular ozone treatments at each cleaning visit to keep conditions at their best.

A Network of Allied Professionals at the Ready

If there are problems that we can’t figure out, we have a team of integrative practitioners we can turn to for help, including chiropractors, bodywork professionals, myofunctional therapists, functional medicine doctors, and dental specialists – each personally vetted by Dr. Bruno to ensure our patients’ health and well-being is always in the best of hands.