Understanding the Causes and Prevention of Tooth Decay

Understanding the Causes and Prevention of Tooth Decay

No matter what your age is, several factors lead to poor oral hygiene and tooth decay. These factors become the paramount reason for tooth decay and lead to severe tooth pain. Indeed, tooth decay is a common dental problem faced by individuals of all ages. Almost 80% of the American population suffers from oral issues, tooth decay being one of them.

For the overall well-being of a human, it is important to maintain a stunning smile. But at every age, human beings are vulnerable to oral diseases. Make sure to understand the risks and take proper measures to protect the patient’s smile or oral hygiene. Take a look at the following causes and prevention of tooth decay.

What is tooth decay?

When the tooth`s enamel starts to break down, it is known as tooth decay. It is often termed as cavities or dental caries. The hard and outer layer is destroyed by the acids of the mouth which erode the enamel and create small cavities or holes.

Causes of Tooth decay

More than 90 percent of adults have cavities in their mouth which cause severe pain. But what is tooth decay? And how is it caused? Then following causes will surely help you know.

  • Poor oral hygiene: Improper flossing techniques and inadequate brushing habits become the reason for plaque. Plaque builds up on the teeth or gums which attacks the tooth enamel and destroys the teeth.
  • Dietary habits: Acidic food items or too many sugary foods increase the chances of tooth decay. Carbohydrates and sugars behave as the fuel for bacteria and produce an inappropriate number of acids.
  • Dry mouth: Saliva in our mouth neutralizes the acids and prevents the tooth. Certain health conditions affect the production of saliva or lead to tooth decay.
  • Genetics: Remember that the saliva and teeth shape merely depend on genetics.
  • Alignment of teeth: If teeth are not properly aligned, it becomes difficult to clean the teeth area more effectively. It increases the chances of tooth decay or causes tooth pain.

Symptoms of tooth decay

Tooth decay at an early age becomes difficult to detect. So, good oral hygiene or proper dental examination is required. As the decay progresses, tooth pain and other following symptoms appear: –

  • Sensation: The enamel layer causes severe sensitivity to hot and cold foods. Overeating sweet foods or acidic items gives teeth a sensation.
  • Toothache: The tooth pain ranges from mild pain to severe discomfort. Severe pain indicates the infection within the tooth.
  • Color changes: The discoloration, dark spots, or brown color on teeth indicates the decay.
  • Bad breath: Continuous bad breath is due to bacteria activity and indicates decay in the mouth
  • Pain while eating: Severe pain or discomfort while chewing or drinking in the specific area of tooth decay indicates tooth damage.

Treating Tooth decay

There are several treatments for tooth decay but it depends on its severity. It includes:

  • Dental crowns: If any patient is experiencing severe tooth pain and bad tooth damage, the dentist recommends crowns. The decaying process weakens the structure of teeth while crown caps cover the visible portion of teeth by providing ultimate support. Moreover, it improves its functionality as well as appearance.
  • Fillings: For small to medium tooth decay issues, fillings are the ultimate solution. It restores the damage. Fillings are amalgam or tooth-colored resins that blend with natural teeth.
  • Tooth extraction: It is definitely a painful procedure. Dentists recommend tooth extraction only if the decayed tooth is irreplaceable or damaged badly. To avoid any future complications, the tooth is extracted
  • Prevention: If the decay is detected at an early age, the ideal way to prevent the tooth is to take proper preventive measures. Go for regular dental cleanings, fluoride treatments, or exams to reduce the decay risk.
  • Root canal: When decay affects the dental pulp and causes infection, tooth pain or inflammation dentists recommend root canal therapy. The dentist removes the infected tissues disinfects the area and seals it to prevent further infections.

How to prevent tooth decay

Many parents or individuals are still unaware of the process of tooth decay and ask the dentist about what is tooth decay. Although it is the most common issue, especially among children who eat too many candies, or sugary items. So, following are the tips to prevent this issue and increase the longevity of your teeth.

  • Brush your teeth: It is important to brush your teeth daily twice a day with good fluoride toothpaste. Use a good brush with soft bristles. Make sure to brush for at least two minutes and reach out all areas of your mouth. Don’t forget to clean your gumline.
  • Flossing: For healthy teeth, never forget to floss. Floss every day with dental floss. This removes the plaque and also removes the food particles attached to teeth. Flossing reaches out areas where a toothbrush cannot reach.
  • Maintain a healthy diet: Instead of eating irregular food items, add fruits and fresh juices to your diet. Limit the sugary food items, cold drinks, or sugary juices. Even snacking also becomes the reason for tooth decay.
  • Go for regular dental checkups: Make sure to visit a dentist after every six months. A proper or deep dental cleaning removes the plaque and tartar professionally. However, it helps to detect early decayed teeth.
  • Fluoride toothpaste: Using fluoride mouthwash toothpaste or even sealants prevent the teeth from tooth decaying process.
  • Smoking: Smoking or drinking alcohol also affects the health of teeth. It is the ultimate reason for oral cancer, gum diseases, and tooth decay. So quit smoking or drinking habits to improve your overall health of health.


To maintain a healthy smile, make sure to follow up the proactive care. Tooth decay is a manageable or preventable condition, so make sure to recognize the symptoms of tooth decay and maintain good oral hygiene. For severe tooth pain prioritize to visit the best dental clinic near you.

Lycian Dental Clinic allows you to make smart and healthy lifestyle choices. We at Lycian Dental Clinic are taking measures to preserve smiles with healthy teeth. Our state-of-the-art facilities offer great dental services including the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of tooth decay. Book your visit now!