Tooth Decay: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Options

Published on: February 22, 2018 By: Urbandale Smiles Posted in: Dental Health

Have you ever experienced a really nasty toothache that made you feel futile? That’s most likely due to tooth decay. You are highly susceptible to this dental problem if you aren’t diligent with your oral regimen. Therefore, if you don't ever wish to face such severe discomfort again, avoid the onset of tooth decay by firmly implementing the right dental care.

Tooth Decay

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay or cavity or dental caries is among the most commonly occurring diseases, second only to the common cold. People of all ages can get cavities, including babies. Tooth decay starts by forming a hole in your tooth, by the activity of the acid-producing mouth bacteria. If left untreated, the cavity enlarges and can be accompanied by pain, infection, and tooth loss. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with the tooth decay problem and prevent its further growth.

What Causes Tooth Decay?

Leading causes of tooth decay are bacteria and sugary foods and beverages. There is a constant plaque formation on your teeth. Plaque consists of bacteria that feast on the sugars in the food you consume and produce acids. These acids destroy the enamel of your tooth, leading to tooth decay or cavities. It's essential to know the causes of tooth decay, so you can determine the right way to care for your teeth and health.

The factors contributing to cavity and tooth decay include:

  • Poor oral hygiene such as failing to brush or floss regularly
  • Not having sufficient saliva production or dry mouth condition
  • Eating excessive sugary or acidic foods and beverages
  • Not getting adequate fluoride

What Are The Symptoms of Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay normally doesn't cause symptoms until the time you develop a cavity or a contaminated tooth. When this takes place, you may get:

  • A toothache as the most general symptom.
  • Lumps in your gums close to a sensitive tooth which can be an indication of severe tooth decay (tooth abscess).
  • Awful breath (Halitosis) or an abominable taste in your mouth.
  • Spots on your teeth.

How Is Tooth Decay Treated?

The most suitable tooth cavity treatment depends on the degree of its severity. An early detection of tooth decay, before the formation of a cavity, is likely to be controlled by brushing with fluoride toothpaste or undergoing fluoride treatments. Therefore, a regular dental checkup is highly recommended for you to timely check a tooth decay problem.

If the tooth decay has damaged the enamel, you may require one or several of these treatments:

Tooth Fillings- It is advised when a cavity has developed.

Crowns- It is advisable for a severe decay which has badly damaged your tooth.

Root Canal- It's recommended to remove an infected tooth pulp.

Removal Or Extraction- It's performed to replace the tooth having severely damaged root with a bridge or an implant.

Early Stage Treatment
If your dentist discovers your tooth cavity in its initial stage, you may be advised a fluoride treatment to renew your tooth enamel and prohibit further decay.

Dealing with Pain
Tooth decay and cavities can cause much pain and discomfort. However, there are some ways to manage the discomfort temporarily:

  • Maintain good oral hygiene
  • Take over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications
  • Watch your diet
  • In order to maintain a good oral health throughout your life, understand the causes and long-term impact that even a single tooth decay can have on your dental health.


Urbandale Smiles

Urbandale Smiles is a leading dental care service provider in Urbandale, IA. We value our patients and take pride in providing them comprehensive care and high-quality dental services aided by modern technology and sophisticated tools that are current in the dental care industry.

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