Tooth Decay FAQ

Frequently asked questions related to tooth decay.

Tooth Decay

What causes tooth decay?


Cavities develop into tiny openings or holes. Cavities, also called as tooth decay are caused by bacteria, frequent eating of snacks, drinking sugary beverages and poor dental hygiene.

What to eat to reverse tooth decay?


It is physically impossible to reverse tooth decay. Once a tooth has a physical cavity (opening or hole) inside of it, there is no feasible way to help the enamel grow back on your own. Instead, the cavity will gradually worsen, due to the bacterial infection inside of the tooth structure. Consider eating foods rich in magnesium that can help in preventing tooth decay. Prevention of tooth decay is possible but it is unable to reverse the tooth decay.

What is the difference between a cavity and tooth decay?


Tooth decay is a progressive tooth disease caused when enamel is compromised and the tooth is exposed to harmful oral bacteria. A cavity is the hole that forms in your tooth as the decay works its way through your tooth structure.

What causes tooth decay in toddlers?


Tooth decay is caused by bacteria and other things. It can happen when foods containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches) are left on the teeth. Such foods include milk, soda, fruit juices, raisins, candy, cake, cereals, and bread.

What are the symptoms of tooth decay?

  1. Toothache, spontaneous pain or pain that occurs without any apparent cause
  2. Mild to sharp pain when eating or drinking something sweet, hot or cold
  3. Tooth sensitivity
  4. Brown, black or white staining on any surface of a tooth
  5. Visible holes or pits in your teeth
  6. Pain when you bite down

How to prevent tooth decay?

  1. Brush with fluoride toothpaste after eating or drinking
  2. Visit your dentist regularly
  3. Rinse your mouth
  4. Consider dental sealants
  5. Avoid frequent snacking and sipping
  6. Eat tooth-healthy foods
  7. Consider fluoride treatments
  8. Ask about antibacterial treatments

What happens if a decayed area of the tooth is not removed?


If you don't treat a cavity, the decay will penetrate your enamel and then keep going deeper to the root of your tooth. Not treating a cavity can result in tooth damage, infection, and even tooth loss. Cavities usually do not hurt, unless they grow very large and affect nerves or cause a tooth fracture.

What PH level causes tooth decay?


The neutral pH level is 7. When the pH level in the mouth goes below 5.5, there is a possibility of tooth decay. When the mouth is exposed to long periods of low pH, it allows cavities causing bacteria to grow and develop. Avoiding acidic foods and drinks is the best solution.

Which bacteria causes tooth decay?


The main cause of tooth decay is Streptococcus mutans. Various lactobacilli are associated with progression of the lesion.

What are the early signs of tooth decay?

  1. Tooth pain
  2. Sensitivity
  3. Mild to sharp pain when eating or drinking something sweet, hot or cold
  4. Visible holes or pits in your teeth
  5. Tooth stain
  6. Pain when you bite down

What vitamin deficiency causes tooth decay?


Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of tooth decay.

What are the effects of tooth decay?


The effects of tooth decay is pain, infection, and even tooth loss.

Why do sugary foods cause tooth decay?


When you intake sugary food stuff, it immediately begins interacting with the plaque bacteria to produce acid. The acid formation dissolves your enamel and this condition results in a dental cavity.

Why does Bulimia cause tooth decay?


90% of the people affected by Bulimia experience tooth erosion and dental decay. This is caused by the stomach acid that can dissolve the tooth enamel when it comes in contact with teeth during vomiting.

Why do carbonated beverages cause tooth decay?


Many bacterias are present in your mouth. When they are exposed to sugar in soft drinks, produce an acid that affects the tooth enamel. This condition results in tooth decay. The acid can begin to wreak havoc in just 20 minutes.

Which antidepressants cause tooth decay?


Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI), atypical antidepressants, and tricyclic antidepressants.

What can prevent tooth decay?


Fluoride can help in preventing cavities and can even reverse the earliest stages of tooth damage. Fluoride is a common ingredient in toothpaste and mouthwash.

What mineral helps prevent tooth decay?


Calcium is a vital mineral for healthy teeth because it helps in strengthening your enamel.

Which procedure treats tooth decay by sealing the tooth?


A filling is a dental procedure that treats tooth decay by sealing the tooth.

How long does it take to reverse tooth decay?


It is physically impossible to reverse the tooth decay

How does sodium fluoride prevent tooth decay?


Sodium Fluoride prevents dental decay by making the enamel more resistant to the action of acids. Sodium fluoride enhances the buildup of healthy minerals in the enamel, further slowing the occurrence of tooth decay.

How to do oil pulling for tooth decay?

  1. Place 1 Tbl of coconut oil in your mouth. Once the oil has liquified, gently swish for about 10-20 minutes
  2. Spit out oil and rinse. Do not swallow the oil. For an extra clean mouth, try rinsing with salt water
  3. Brush your teeth as normal.

How to stop tooth decay from spreading?


Drink plenty of water. Water rinses your teeth between times of brushing and flossing, preventing any food particles from clinging to your teeth and becoming plaque. Also, water boosts saliva production, which also protects your teeth and slows plaque formation.