Tooth Decay Causes and Effects

June 27, 2014, Joshua Hong DDS

stages of tooth decay. Image  credit :
stages of tooth decay. Image  credit :
One of the biggest health concerns among adults & children alike is tooth decay. A decaying tooth can not only be painful, but can also cause serious health problems as the bacteria from the decaying tooth can enter different blood vessels in the body, thereby contaminating it.

Having a toothache on a daily basis is definitely not a good sign as this might just be the starting of tooth decay. Some good dental clinics like Joshua Hong’s Smile Clinic in Goodyear, AZ take pride in educating patients on different dental problems like tooth decay.

Please take advantage of such places & learn more about dental care, but for now, let us try & learn a bit about tooth decay here.

Tooth decay can affect the following parts of your dental structure:

  • Enamel:The harder, outer coating of a tooth
  • Dentine:A bone-like soft material just below the enamel
  • Pulp:The softer center of the tooth containing different blood vessels & nerves connected to the sensory part of the brain

Causes of Tooth Decay

Plaque is the main carrier of tooth decay. It is a sticky & clear substance that forms on your teeth, which contains bacteria that feed on food & sugars that you eat. Its symptoms include excruciating pain that can disrupt your life. A serious plaque deposit can cause a lot of problems, which your dentist can rectify with proper tooth restoration. Before tooth restoration is done, you will need to know the different causes of tooth decay in order to avoid it.

The causes include:

  • Diet - If your diet includes a lot of sweet products & foods that have high sugar content, you are at a high risk of tooth decay. These serve as food for the bacteria present in plaque. People who are fond of drinking soft drinks on a regular basis also have high chances of tooth decay as these drinks contain a high amount of sugar & acid, which is bad for teeth.
  • Medicines - Different medicines prescribed by your doctor can cause a dry mouth condition called xerostomiathat stops the normal flow of saliva in the mouth. Saliva helps in hindering the growth of plaque in your mouth. When its natural process is restricted, it increases the plaque formation in the mouth, causing serious damage to your teeth. Another cause for this condition is diabetes & pre-diabetic conditions. Your dentist needs to know about all these things before performing any kind of tooth restoration procedure. 
  • Cavities & poorly formed enamel -Anybody with a cavity is definitely on the path of tooth decay as plaque in your mouth will deposit in areas where you have a cavity. After some time, the bacteria from inside the cavity starts attacking the roots & nerves, which causes sensitivity to water & other food items. It has also been seen that some dental patients have a poor enamel deposit on their teeth. While the cause can be anything, the effect is threatening as the bacteria can reach the dentine, causing serious decay.
  • Oral hygiene -Not brushing teeth regularly & properly is also one of the biggest causes of tooth decay. While the toothpaste helps in creating foam like substance in your mouth, it is the brush that helps in cleaning the bacterial deposits on the teeth. Also, regular flossing is required to clean plaque deposits. Moreover, regular visits to your dentist are a must as he/she is the only person who can guide you to good dental health. You must also discuss with them the oral cleaning routine that you follow at the time of tooth restoration sessions.

Precautions can always be taken to avoid any drastic situation. However, if a problem has occurred, a feasible & cost effective solution is required. While tooth decay is a serious problem, the good news is that it can be rectified with proper tooth restoration methods. Hence, consult your dentist to know more about this process & its different procedures.


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