Teeth Cavities | Tooth Decay – Causes, Treatment, Pain, prevention

Teeth Cavities Tooth Decay - Causes, Treatment, Pain, prevention

What are cavities?

A cavity or tooth decay is a hole that forms in the tooth. Cavities initially are small in size and gradually become bigger if they are left untreated. Because most cavities do not cause pain initiallyin the beginning, it can be hard to realize that a problem exists. Regular dental checkups can detect cavity early.

According to the Ekdantam Dental Clinic, tooth decay and cavities are among the most common health risks in the world. Anyone with teeth might face cavities, babies as well.

Discovering that you have developed cavity can be surprising. This is particularly true for those who follow and maintain a good oral hygiene. Still, in the worst scenario that you have developed a cavity, there are multiple ways a cavity can be treated and prevent it from forming again.

Signs of tooth decay

The signs of a cavity varies according to the severity of the decay. It includes:

  • tooth pain
  • tooth sensitivity
  • a hole clearly visible in the teeth
  • black or white stains on the teeth

What causes a tooth cavity

A tooth cavity is developed due to plaque, a sticky element that binds to teeth. Plaque can be a combination of:

  • acid
  • saliva
  • bacteria
  • bits of food

Every individual has bacteria in their mouth. After you eat or drink anything that contains sugar, the bacteria in your mouth turns sugar into acid. Plaque starts to develop on your teeth instantly after eating or drinking anything that contains sugar. So regular brushing is essential.

Plaque adheres to the teeth, and the acid in plaque can gradually dissolve tooth enamel. Enamel is a hard, defensive covering on the teeth that protects it against tooth decay. After the tooth enamel weakens, the risk of cavity raises.

Everybody is at risk for tooth cavities, yet a few people tend to have a higher risk.

Risk factors include:

  • Consumption of too much acidic drinks and foods or sugary substance.
  • Following a poor oral cleanliness standard, like neglecting to brush or floss every day.
  • Not receiving the required fluoride.
  • Dry mouth
  • Eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia.
  • Acid reflux disease, which results in stomach acid wearing out the tooth enamel

Cavities grow more frequently in the back teeth, as said by Ekdantam dental clinic. These teeth have openings and grooves that can trap bits of food particles. Also, it becomes the toughest task to reach these hidden corners of the teeth to brush and floss.

Treatment possibilities for tooth decay

Inform the doctor regarding uncomfortable symptoms such as tooth sensitivity or a pain. A dentist can detect cavity after an oral checkup. Though, some cavities are not visible from an oral exam. So, your dentist may use a dental X-ray to look for cavity.

Treatments totally depend on severity of the condition. A cavity can be treated with multiple methods.

Tooth fillings

In this method the dentist uses a drill to remove the cavity from a tooth.  The dentist then fills the tooth with a substance, such as gold, silver, or composite resin.


For more severe decay, the dentist will replace the natural crown of the tooth by placing a custom-fit cap over it. The dentist first removes the decayed tooth material before beginning the procedure.

Root canal

When a cavity causes the death of a nerve or nerves, the dentist will perform a root canal to protect your tooth. They remove the nerve tissue, blood vessel tissues, nerve tissue, and all the other decayed sections of the tooth. A dentist then looks for infections and implements the required treatment to the roots. And finally, the tooth is filled or the dentist might even place a crown on it.

Early stage treatment

A dentist will proceed with fluoride treatment to restore the tooth enamel and prevent further decay if a tooth cavity is detected in its initial stage.

How would you deal with the pain?

Tooth decay and cavities can be the major cause of discomfort and toothache. You would wish for the irritation or pain to go away while you wait for the dentist appointment. According to us (Ekdantam Dental Clinic), there are certain things you can follow to deal with the toothache temporarily:

  • Follow your oral hygiene in the regular manner. Continue to brush and clean every section of your mouth thoroughly, including any sensitive sections.
  • Go for over-the-counter (OTC) pain killers. Consult a doctor if you can use OTC anesthetics.
  • Be sure of what you eat. Try to avoid extremely cold or hot foods while drinking or eating.

Difficulties you might face due to tooth cavity

tooth cavity stages

A tooth cavity can result inmultiple complications if it is left untreated. Here are few symptoms:

  • Continues toothache.
  • Sore tooth, that can later get infected and turn into a life threating complication, similar to an infection that enters sepsis or the bloodstream.
  • Pus forms around the infected section of the tooth.
  • The risk for chipping or breaking of a tooth raises.
  • Difficulties while chewing food.

You might damage your teeth in a manner which can’t be reversed if you avoid seeing a dentist. Now, the best way to fix the cavity is for the dentist to remove the tooth and replace it with a bridge or an implant.

How to prevent Cavity?

Tooth cavity or decay is a typical dental issue, but by following these measures you can reduce the risk:

  • Brushing the teeth twice every day with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • American Dental Association recommends flossing at least once in a day.
  • Limit consumption of less sugary and acidic foods, such ascandy, sweets, soda, juice, and refined carbohydrates.
  • Limit nibbling between suppers.
  • Consider getting dental sealants on your teeth.

Follow the food diet to help fight cavity:

  • Fiber-rich vegetables and fruits.
  • Water containing fluoride
  • Calcium enriched food
  • Sugar-free black or green tea.
  • Xylitol chewing gum (Sugarless)

Note: The best precaution we recommend is to visit a dentist at least twice a year for regular dental checkups. This helps in detecting problem in its initial stage according to which the required treatment can be started preventing future dental troubles.


How Do Teeth Cavities Develop?

Tooth decay typically occurs when bacteria in the mouth feed on sugars and produce acids that attack tooth enamel. Over time, this acid erosion creates cavities.

How is Tooth Decay Diagnosed?

Dentists diagnose tooth decay through visual examination, X-rays, and probing for soft spots on the teeth. Early detection is crucial for effective treatment.

Is Tooth Decay Treatable?

Yes, tooth decay is treatable, especially when detected early. Treatment options include dental fillings, crowns for more extensive damage, or root canal therapy for deep infections.

Can Tooth Decay be Reversed?

In the early stages, tooth decay may be halted or reversed through improved oral hygiene and diet changes. Once cavities have formed, they cannot be reversed, but the progression can be stopped.

What are the Best Ways to Prevent Tooth Decay?

Effective prevention measures include:

  • Regular brushing and flossing.
  • Reducing sugar and acid consumption.
  • Fluoride use, including fluoridated toothpaste and professional treatments.
  • Routine dental check-ups and cleanings.
Can Tooth Decay Lead to Tooth Loss?

Untreated tooth decay can progress to the point where it damages the tooth’s structure and leads to tooth loss. Prompt treatment is essential to prevent this.

Are Children More Prone to Tooth Decay?

Children are often more susceptible to tooth decay because their tooth enamel is still developing. Proper dental care and supervision are crucial in childhood to establish good oral health habits.

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