treatments for tooth decay

What Causes Tooth Decay and How May It Be Treated?

What Is Tooth Decay?

The teeth are prone to damage, especially if you don’t maintain good oral health. The bacteria in your mouth produce acids that attack the tooth enamel, creating white spot on teeth that can lead to decay. This process occurs over time and can result in small holes in your teeth, known as cavities. It’s important to note that tooth decay has different stages, and treating it in the early stages can save you time and money. While acid production in the mouth is inevitable, the damage it causes is preventable.

However, to prevent tooth decay, you should first know what the causes of tooth decay are.

Tooth decay: causes, prevention, and treatment

What Causes Tooth Decay?

As mentioned, tooth decay happens when germs in a sticky layer, called dental plaque, turn sugar from food and drinks into acid that harms the teeth. Therefore, it is mainly considered a diet-related ted disease. Although that’s the prominent cause of decay, other factors can affect this problem, including:

Not cleaning teeth and gums

One of the main reasons that plaque forms is a lack of good oral hygiene. Therefore, it is important to brush your teeth at least twice a day. Be sure to use toothpaste that contains fluoride, as it can strengthen tooth enamel and protect your teeth from cavities.

Eating or drinking too much sugary food

Sugar is the enemy of teeth. Although most people can’t avoid consuming sweets, they should try to limit their sugar intake, especially children, who are more vulnerable to dental disease.

People who regularly consume sugar have a higher risk of developing dental caries


One of the bad habits that leads to gum disease and tooth decay is smoking. In addition, smoking makes your teeth yellow or stained. To whiten your teeth, you need cosmetic dental treatment, which is more expensive than preventive treatment. Therefore, the best solution to prevent dental disease and other health issues is to quit smoking.

Having gum diseases

Not having good oral hygiene can lead to gum disease, which can damage the bone tissue that supports your teeth. Additionally, gum disease can lead to tooth decay by affecting the roots of your teeth, which are more prone to decay. If this disease is not treated in time, it can lead to tooth loss. Therefore, visit a gum disease specialist as soon as you feel any pain or sensitivity in your gums.  

treatment for tooth decay in child: how to stop tooth decay from spreading

Having crooked teeth

It is more difficult to properly treat teeth that are crowded or crooked. This problem leaves room for plaque and decay. If you or your child has crooked teeth, seek general dentistry services so the dentist can offer you braces or other treatments.

Taking certain medication

When you are dehydrated or taking specific medications, your mouth reduces the flow of saliva, which acts as a defense against tooth decay. Therefore, dry mouth can lead to dental caries. To prevent this problem from happening, make sure to drink plenty of water during the day.

Symptoms for Tooth Decay

To prevent tooth decay from spreading, you should be able to know the symptoms of this disease. Therefore, take care of what you feel in your teeth and gum. In case of experiencing the following symptoms, seek treatment for tooth decay to prevent further damage to your teeth and gums.

  • Tooth pain while eating
  • Tooth sensitivity when drinking or eating hot or cold food
  • Visible holes or pits in the teeth
  • Discolouration or darkening of the tooth
  • Feeling bad taste in the mouth or having bad breath
  • Swelling or redness of the gums
  • Loose or shifting teeth
alternative treatments for tooth decay

Dental Caries Prevention Tips

To prevent tooth decay, you should:

  • Use fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth twice a day. This is the main preventive oral care you can do to prevent your teeth from creating cavities.
  •  Daily flossing can remove food particles from between your teeth.
  •  Consider using fluoride mouthwash or dental sealants to protect your teeth from decay.
  • Cut down on foods containing sugar.
  • Drink plenty of water during the day to keep your mouth hydrated.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for checkups. You should note that preventive dental services can reduce the risk of tooth decay.

What Are the Treatments for Tooth Decay?

Depending on the stages of tooth decay, the dentist may offer the following treatments for tooth decay. 

acacia dental caries treatment for bad teeth

Fluoride treatments

Preventing cavities in the early stages of tooth decay gives you the chance to save your tooth from more serious and costly procedures. If you visit your dentist at least once a year for a fluoride treatment, your tooth enamel will be restored. This simple procedure can sometimes reverse a cavity in its early stages. In addition to seeing a dentist for this preventive dental service, you should also use fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash to help strengthen your teeth.

Dental fillings

If tooth decay spreads, it will make a hole in your tooth. In this case, the dentist may recommend you dental fillings procedure to fill the gap made by this cavity. A dental filling is a restorative dental service during which the dentist uses tooth-colored composite resins and other materials to fill in the hole made in the tooth.

Root Canal Treatment

In severe dental decay where the tooth has been deeply affected and the root is damaged, root canal treatment may be necessary. If there is an infection in the root, medication may be used to treat it. Otherwise, the pulp of the tooth will need to be removed.

Dental Crowns

Typically, a dental crown is not the main treatment for tooth decay because it is usually used to enhance the appearance of the tooth. Therefore, if the tooth is damaged and has discolouration that affects the whiteness or shape of the teeth, the dental crown is recommended. Crowns are commonly made of resin, porcelain, or gold and will be placed over the tooth to reshape it to its natural look.

Dentists use crowns to restore weak, broken or decayed teeth.

Tooth Extractions

This will be recommended at the last stage of tooth decay when there is no other treatment to save the tooth. Therefore, if the decay is spread and affects the root condition and makes the tooth loosen or deeply damaged, the dentist has to remove the tooth, which is called a tooth extraction. However, the gap made by this procedure can be filled with other dental procedures like dental bridges or dental implants.

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What is the treatment for tooth decay pain?

You should visit a dentist whenever you experience a toothache. But, if for any reason you don’t have access to a dentist, the following tips can help you reduce the pain temporarily:

  • Rinse your mouth with saltwater. It will disinfect your mouth and reduce inflammation.
  • Apply a cold compress on the pain region to reduce swelling in your cheek and help numb the pain.
  • Take over-the-counter painkillers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to ease the pain.
  • Clove oil also has antibacterial properties, so you can use it to relieve tooth pain.

Not that these remedies can relieve the pain temporarily. Visit a dentist at the quickest time.

Use an over-the-counter anesthetic specifically designed to soothe painful teeth.

Bottom Line & FAQs

Dental decay is a common problem that affects people of all ages. Treating dental decay involves removing the decayed portion of the tooth and filling it with a suitable material to restore its function and appearance.

Prevention is key to avoiding dental decay, and good oral hygiene practices such as regular brushing and flossing, along with a healthy diet, can go a long way in preventing this condition.

If you live in Darwin, Coolalinga, Darwin, Palmerston, Humpty doo, or Howard Springs, you can check Acacia dental website to find specialists for dental caries treatment and gum diseases.

What are the causes of tooth decay?

The main cause of tooth decay is eating sugary snacks and not cleaning your teeth regularly. Sugar in the food stays on the tooth surface and makes cavities over time. That’s why it’s crucial to reduce sugar consumption. Moreover, never forget to brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste. Additionally, smoking and drinking alcohol are two other factors that can cause cavities in the tooth. Therefore, having a healthy lifestyle can give you a healthier body.

How to stop tooth decay from spreading?

If you follow a healthy diet and have good oral hygiene, you can save your teeth from decay. Furthermore, visiting your dentist regularly is the other step to take to have healthy teeth. If you go for annual check-ups, tooth decay will be discovered in its early stages. Thus, you can quickly stop it from spreading.

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