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Tooth Decay

What is Tooth Decay? Causes and Prevention

What is Tooth Decay? Causes and Prevention

Tooth Decay

What is Tooth Decay? Causes and Prevention

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay, also known as cavities, refers to tooth disease caused by numerous factors, including bacterial growth in the mouth, consuming many sugar drinks, frequent snacking, and not following a proper oral hygiene routine. It damages the enamel (hard outer surface of the tooth), causing tiny open holes in the teeth. A common disease, can be easily found in most people because of not taking good oral care and eating unhealthy foods. 

Mostly, children and older adults face the problem of tooth decay. It happens when you leave the cavities untreated; then, it may spread fastly and affect the more significant parts of your teeth in less time. Also, tooth decay can lead to other dangerous tooth diseases, including tooth loss, toothache, and infection. Frequent dental checkups, regular brushing, and flossing habits are the best practices to prevent cavities.

This article has discussed tooth cavity symptoms, causes, and prevention. Scroll down, and learn more

Symptoms and Signs of Tooth Decay

In the initial phase, tooth decay doesn’t show any symptoms. But, it can get worse and can show signs, including

  • Teeth sensitivity
  • Brown and white stains on the tooth
  • An Infection
  • Toothache (tooth pain)
  • Unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • A cavity

Some people are at a high risk of tooth decay, including those with a dry mouth, have weak enamel genetically or because of any illness, don’t brush their teeth daily, and don’t eat the right food.

Causes and Prevention of Tooth Decay


Learning and understanding the causes of tooth decay is the first step toward excellent oral health. There are numerous countable reasons for the development of tooth decay; some of the major causes are:

The leading cause of tooth decay is dental plaque. It is a transparent sticky film that coats the teeth. Usually, it occurs when people consume vast amounts of sugary drinks and starches and do not follow the proper oral cleaning routine. Cleaning teeth regularly is essential; if one skips cleaning the sugar and starch from your teeth, the bacteria start growing and form plaque. Additionally, plaque on teeth (if left unremoved and untreated) can get harder with passing time. Later it becomes tartar (calculus), a shield for bacteria and is way more harmful to oral health. 

The plaque contains acids and sugars that are harmful to teeth, removing the minerals from the enamel and weakening it. Similarly, it causes tiny open holes in the enamel, also called the first step of cavities. After damaging the enamel, the plaque can reach the next layer of teeth called dentin. The dentin is most vulnerable and can easily get damaged when attacked by plaque. The tiny dentin tubes are directly connected with the tooth nerve responsible for sensitivity; similarly, damaging dentin can lead to teeth sensitivity issues. 

When the plaque becomes more pathetic, tooth decay starts developing. While damaging the enamel and dentin, the acid and bacteria move towards the inner tooth material called the pulp, which consists of blood vessels and nerves. The pulp damage causes swallowing and irritation in the area and pain. Additionally, this painful condition can reach from the tooth root to the bone afterwards.


The prevention of tooth decay is effortless for those who maintain good oral hygiene, and it means following the routine of flossing, brushing, rinsing, and other oral care daily. Additionally, planning frequent visits to the dentist and getting an explanation from him about oral health is necessary to prevent such disease. If anything is not on point, one should start early treatment and get professional assistance. Another best way to prevent cavities or tooth decay is to learn about the causes. Here are other precautionary steps that one can take to protect from tooth decay.

  • Brush teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Brush after every meal and before going to bed to keep the teeth clean.
  • For more efficient cleaning, use dental floss regularly and remove plaque. 
  • Use fluoride-containing and antiseptic mouthwash for rinsing purposes.
  • Eating balanced meals and avoiding consuming candies, chips, pretzels, and other carbohydrates is always better for good oral health. If it’s difficult to resist these foods, brush your teeth before going to bed and right after eating. 
  • Visiting dentists at least twice a year can save teeth from numerous severe dental conditions. 

Therefore, by taking these simple steps, one can prevent cavities and maintain the mouth and teeth in excellent condition.


Tooth decay disease can affect people of any age; similarly, the ideal way to protect from this issue is by learning about the causes and getting treatments from trustable dentists. Moreover, taking precautionary steps can also ideally save one from this severe dental problem. It is comparatively easier to treat tooth decay when diagnosed early. In addition, those who contact dentists on time can protect their teeth from extensive damage.

Gateway Village Dental is the Best Dentist St. Albert who can provide painless treatments for any dental disease, including tooth decay and others. Plan your visit now to get rid of all your dental problems. 


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