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Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity: Most Common Dental Problem- A Report

Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity is permanently damaged areas in the teeth’s hard surface that develop into tiny openings or holes. Cavities, also known as tooth decay or caries, are caused by a combination of factors, including bacteria in the mouth, frequent snacking, drinking sugary drinks, and failing to properly clean teeth.

Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity and the elderly. Cavities, however, can affect anyone who has teeth, including infants.

Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity is the most common dental problem which is usually ignored by people due to lack of awareness. If untreated, Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity can lead to pain, infection, and even tooth loss, hence it is extremely crucial to get it repaired.

What Is Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity?

Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity is defined as damage to the surface of a tooth, also known as the enamel. It occurs when bacteria in mouth produce acids that attack one’s enamel (outermost layer) of the teeth. Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity (dental caries) are holes in your teeth caused by tooth decay.

When a Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity or breaks down, a cavity is formed. A cavity is a hole that can enlarge and become deeper over time.

Both these terms, Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity are commonly used as synonyms.

What Factors Contribute To Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity?

Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity is caused by contribution of various factors which combine together and promotes caries.

These Factors Are

  • Bacteria
  • Food
  • Susceptible tooth
  • Time

All these factors make suitable environment, which leads to initiation and progression of Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity.

Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity hosts abundant of bacteria. Some bacteria are beneficial. Some, however, can be harmful, such as those that contribute to Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity. These bacteria combine with food to form plaque, a soft, sticky film.

Plaque bacteria produce acids from the sugar and starch in the food and drink. The acids start to eat away at the minerals on the enamel of teeth. The plaque can solidify into tartar over time. Plaque and tartar, in addition to damaging the teeth, can irritate gums and cause gum disease.

Dental Cavity

What Are Risk Factors Of Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity?

Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity can affect anyone who has teeth, but the following factors can increase the risk:

Location Of The Teeth

Posterior (back) teeth are the most prone to Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity(molars and premolars). These teeth have numerous grooves, pits, and fissures, as well as numerous roots that can collect food particles.

As a result, they are more difficult to clean than the smoother, easier-to-reach front teeth.

Certain Foods And Beverages

Milk, ice cream, honey, sugar, soda, dried fruit, cake, cookies, hard candy and mints, dry cereal, and chips are more likely to cause tooth Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity than foods that are easily washed away by saliva.

Frequent Snacking Or Sipping

When individuals consistently snack or drink sugary drinks, they give mouth bacteria more fuel to produce acids that attack and wear down their teeth.

And drinking soda or other acidic drinks throughout the day contributes to a constant acidic environment.

Infant Feeding Before Bedtime

When babies are given milk, formula, juice, or other sugar-containing liquids in their bedtime bottles, these beverages remain on their teeth for hours while they sleep, feeding decay-causing bacteria.

This type of damage is commonly referred to as baby bottle Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity(nursing bottle caries). When toddlers drink from a sippy cup filled with these beverages, similar damage can occur.

Improper Brushing

Plaque forms quickly after eating and drinking, and the first stages of Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity can begin if people do not clean their teeth immediately after eating and drinking.

Inadequate Fluoride Intake

Fluoride, a naturally occurring mineral, aids in cavity prevention and can even reverse the early stages of Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity. Fluoride is added to many public water supplies because of its dental benefits.

Fluoride is also a common component of toothpaste and mouthwash. However, fluoride is rarely found in mineral bottled water.

Age Factor (Younger Or Older Age)

Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity is common in very young children and teenagers in the United States. Senior citizens are also at a higher risk. Teeth can wear down and gums can recede over time, making teeth more vulnerable to Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity.

In addition, older adults are more likely to use medications that reduce saliva flow, increasing the risk of Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity.

Xerostomia (Dry mouth)

A lack of saliva causes dry mouth, which helps prevent Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity by washing away food and plaque from the teeth. Salivary substances also help to neutralize the acid produced by bacteria.

Certain prescription drugs, medical conditions, radiation to the head or neck, and chemotherapy drugs can all increase the risk of Dental cavity by decreasing saliva production.

Worn Fillings Or Dental Devices

Dental fillings can weaken, break down, or develop rough edges over time. Plaque can build up more easily in over-hanged or damaged fillings, as a result, making removal more difficult.

Dental devices can lose their ability to fit properly, allowing decay to begin beneath them.


Heartburn, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), causes stomach acid to flow into the mouth (reflux), eroding the enamel and causing significant Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity. This exposes more dentin to bacterial attack, resulting in Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity.

The dentist may advise one to see a general physician to determine whether gastric reflux is the cause of the enamel loss.

Eating Disorders

Anorexia and bulimia can cause severe Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity. Stomach acid washes over the teeth and begins to dissolve the enamel as a result of repeated vomiting (purging).

Eating disorders can also impair saliva production.

Dental Cavity

How Does Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity Formation Occur?

Dental cavity is caused by tooth decay, which is a gradual process. Here’s how Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity happens:

Process Of Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity Formation

Plaque Formation

Dental plaque is a clear, sticky film that forms on the surface of the teeth.

  • It’s due to eating a lot of sugars and starches and not cleaning the teeth properly.
  • When sugars and starches are not removed from teeth, bacteria feed on them and form plaque.
  • Plaque that remains on the teeth can solidify into tartar beneath or above the gum line.
  • This hardened plaque is known as calculus.
  • Tartar makes plaque removal more difficult and acts as a barrier for bacteria.

Frequent Plaque Attacks

  • Plaque acid attacks dissolve minerals in the hard, outer enamel of the teeth.
  • This erosion creates tiny openings or holes in the enamel, which is the first stage of cavity formation.
  • When areas of enamel are worn away, bacteria and acid can reach the dentin (inner layer) of the teeth. This layer is softer (being less mineralized) than enamel and less acid resistant.
  • Dentin contains tiny tubes that communicate directly with the nerve of the tooth, causing sensitivity.

Continuous Progression Of Tooth Decay

  • As tooth decay progresses, bacteria and acid continue to move through the teeth, close to the innermost tooth material (pulp), which consists of nerves and blood vessels.
  • Bacteria cause the pulp to swell and become irritated. Because there is hardly anywhere for swelling to expand inside a tooth, the nerve becomes strained, resulting in pain.
  • Discomfort can even spread to the bone from the tooth root.

What Are The Different Types Of Tooth Decay And Dental Cavity?

Tooth decay can affect the entire structure of a tooth. A cavity in the tough outer layer of tooth enamel can take up to three years to form. Decay moves faster through the dentin (middle layer) to the pulp (innermost layer).

The pulp of a tooth contains the nerve endings and blood supply. Tooth decay can be classified into the following types:

Smooth Surface Caries

The enamel on the teeth is being dissolved by this slow-growing cavity. With proper brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings, individuals can prevent and sometimes reverse it.

People in their twenties are more likely to develop this type of tooth decay between their teeth.

Pit And Fissure Caries

Dental cavity form on the occlusal (top) part of the tooth’s chewing surface that includes pits and grooves which are difficult to clean.

Pit and fissure decay usually begins in adolescence and progresses quickly.

Root Caries

Root decay is more common in older adults who have receding gums. Gum recession makes the tooth’s root vulnerable to plaque and acid.

It is difficult to prevent and treat root decay.

What Are The Symptoms Of Dental Cavity?

The signs and symptoms of dental cavity vary, based on their extent and location. When a cavity just starts to form, individuals may not notice any symptoms at all. As the decay progresses, it may produce signs and symptoms such as:

  • Toothache, spontaneous pain, or pain that appears for no apparent reason
  • Sensitivity of the teeth
  • Halitosis (problem of bad breath)
  • Mild to sharp pain when eating or drinking something sweet, hot or cold
  • Visible holes or pits in teeth
  • Brown, black or white staining on any surface of a tooth
  • Pain on biting

What Are The Complications Of Untreated Dental Cavity?

Dental cavity and tooth decay are so usual that one may don’t even bother about them. And people may believe that it is unimportant if children develop cavities in their deciduous (baby) teeth. Cavities and tooth decay, on the other hand, can have serious and long-term consequences, even in children who do not yet have their permanent teeth.

When cavities and decay become severe, people may experience the following symptoms:

Sharp Shooting Pain

Daily living is hampered because of severe pain.

Pus Or Swelling Around A Tooth

If not controlled, pus may spread to various facial spaces or even in the bone leading to more serious problems such as Ludwig’s Angina (which is a facial space infection) or Osteomyelitis (severe bone infection) and many more. 

Weight Loss And Malnutrition Due To Problem With Mastication (Chewing)

Weight loss or nutritional issues caused by painful or difficult eating or chewing.

Tooth Abscess

In rare cases, a tooth abscess (a pus-filled pocket caused by bacterial infection) can develop, leading to more serious or even life-threatening infections.

Damage Or Broken Teeth And Tooth Loss

Tooth loss can have an impact on one’s appearance as well as their confidence and self-esteem.

Pathological Tooth Movement

Positioning shifts of teeth after tooth loss.

Dental Cavity

What Are The Precautionary Measures To Prevent Dental cavity?

Dental cavity and tooth decay can be avoided with good oral and dental hygiene. Here are some simple tips to help people to avoid cavities. Ask for information from a dentist about the best tips.

Some Preventive measures are:

Oral Prophylaxis

After eating or drinking, brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste. Brush teeth at least twice a day, preferably after each meal, with fluoride toothpaste. Floss or use an interdental cleaner to clean in-between teeth.

Rinse Mouth

If someone’s dentist believes one is at high risk of developing cavities, he or she may advise to use a fluoride-containing mouth rinse.

Regularly Visit A Dentist

Get professional teeth cleanings and oral exams on a regular basis to help prevent problems or detect them early. The dentist can recommend people the best schedule for them according to their condition of teeth.

Consider Dental Sealants (Commonly Known As Pit And Fissure Sealants)

A sealant is an impermeable protective coating applied to the chewing surface of teeth in the back region (molars and premolars). It seals off food-collecting grooves and fissures, protecting tooth enamel from plaque and acid. Sealants are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for all school-age children. Sealants can last for several years before needing to be replaced, but they must be checked on a regular basis.

Consume Some Tap Water

Fluoride is added to most public water supplies, which can significantly reduce tooth decay. Individuals will miss out on fluoride benefits if they only drink bottled or purified water that does not contain fluoride.

Avoid Snacking And Sipping On A Regular Basis

When individuals consume beverages other than water, they aid mouth bacteria in producing acids that can erode tooth enamel. One’s teeth are constantly under attack if he/she snack or drink throughout the day.

Consume Tooth-Healthy Foods

Some foods and beverages are more beneficial to the teeth than others. Avoid foods that get stuck in the grooves and pits of teeth for long periods of time, or brush teeth immediately after eating them. Fresh fruits and vegetables, on the other hand, increase saliva flow, and unsweetened coffee, tea, and sugar-free gum help wash away food particles.

Consider Fluoride Treatments

Periodic fluoride treatments may be recommended by a dentist, especially if individuals aren’t getting enough fluoride from fluoridated drinking water and other sources. If the risk of tooth decay is very high, he or she may also recommend custom trays that fit over teeth for the application of prescription fluoride.

Read Also: Dentinal Sensitivity During The Winter Season: A Prevalent Dental Condition

Inquire About Antibacterial Medications 

If anyone is particularly susceptible to tooth decay, such as due to a medical condition, a dentist may recommend antibacterial mouth rinse or other treatment options to help reduce harmful bacteria in the oral cavity (mouth).

Combined Treatments

Cavities can be reduced by chewing xylitol-based gum, as well as using prescription fluoride and an antibacterial mouth rinse.

Dental Cavity

When To Visit a Dentist?

Individuals may be completely unaware that a cavity is beginning to form. That is why, even if one’s mouth feels fine, it is critical to have regular dental checkups and cleanings.

If anyone notice a change in the gums or any of the teeth, see a dentist right away, especially if there is pain or swelling. So, if the gums are puffy and bleeding, or if any of the teeth begins to ache, it’s time to see a dentist.

Diagnosis Of Dental Cavity

Regular checkups and cleanings are important because this is when a dentist finds cavities.

Dentist will perform some clinical investigation. They will simply probe one’s teeth for soft and catchy spots and use X-rays to look between the teeth.

Management And Treatment Of Dental cavity

Individuals may be in a lot of pain while waiting for their dental appointment. Consult a doctor to see if it’s safe to take over-the-counter pain relievers. In addition, one can also consider the following:

For Pain And Swelling

  • Use pain killers for emergency.
  • Frequent Warm saline rinses.
  • Rinsing teeth with warm water after brushing.
  • Visit a dentist as soon as possible.

For Sensitive Teeth

  • Make use of toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.
  • Extreme hot, cold, or sweet foods and beverages should be avoided.


Treatment is determined by the severity of the cavity.

For Mild Or Initial Dental cavity

For initial cases where Dental cavity is not extensive, simple procedures can be done, which doesn’t involve the drill, for example,

Fluoride Application

Dental varnishes are used in early cases in which cavity has not formed yet but there are chances of one in the future.

Atraumatic Restoration

In this procedure, cavity is prepared with non-invasive method and it is filled with anti-caries restorative (filling) materials.

For Moderate And Extensive Cavities

Cases where a cavity has formed or has reached an extensively destructive stage, it requires invasive methods. Typically, the dentist will use a drill to remove the decayed portion of the tooth. There are a few options for tooth repair:

Restoration Or Filling

The dentist will fill the hole with a silver alloy, gold, porcelain, or composite resin restorative fillings. These materials are completely safe.

Some people are concerned about mercury-based restorations known as amalgams, but the American Dental Association, the Food and Drug Administration, and other public health organizations say they are also safe. Allergies to these fillings are relatively rare.


Crowns are used by dentists when a tooth is so badly decayed that there isn’t much healthy enamel left. They will remove and repair the damaged part of the tooth before placing a crown made of gold, porcelain, or porcelain fused to metal over the rest of the tooth.

Root Canal Treatment (RCT)

If the root or pulp of one’s tooth is dead or injured in a way that it cannot be repaired, one may require a root canal treatment.

Root Canal Procedure involves the following steps:

  • The nerve, blood vessels, and tissue, as well as the decayed portions of the tooth, are removed by the dentist.
  • After removal of contaminated and dead tissue, root canal is cleaned and prepared.
  • Dentist use a sealing material to fill in the roots.
  • Finally, the tooth is filled with a restorative material.
  • A crown may be required over the filled tooth as the root canal treated tooth becomes brittle due to its weak structure.

Tooth Extraction

If a root canal isn’t possible, one’s dentist may extract (pull) the tooth. A dental implant may be required to replace a permanent tooth that has been extracted. Implants prevent teeth shifting and altering one’s appearance and bite.

Dental Cavity

Is It Possible To Reverse A Dental cavity?

A cavity cannot be reversed or healed. However, if the decay is in the enamel, one may be able to stop it and possibly reverse it.

If one’s teeth are losing minerals, one can take steps to reverse the process so that the tooth enamel can strengthen and heal before a cavity forms.

This usually entails removing any debris, such as food particles, that may have remained on the teeth after eating or drinking sugary beverages.

What Is The Prognosis For People With Dental Cavities?

The majority of people who have cavities do not have any long-term issues. Because cavities form gradually, it is extremely crucial to have regular dental checkups.

Fluoride treatments can halt the progression of tooth decay in its early stages. Once tooth decay progress to the root, individuals risk losing the tooth or establishing a painful abscess (infection).

Read Also: Baby Teeth : Know About The Importance And Functions Of Milk Teeth/Baby Teeth From A Dentist


Dental cavity is caused by plaque buildup, which result in permanent damage of the teeth. Initially, there may not be any symptoms, so regular checkups with a dentist are essential.

Dental cavity continue to grow and affect deeper layers of the teeth if they are not treated. They can cause severe tooth pain, infection, and tooth loss. The best protection against cavities and tooth decay is regular dental visits along with good brushing and flossing habits.

Regular dental checkups, a healthy diet and good oral hygiene are essential for cavity prevention. Emerging dental treatments, such as dental sealants and fluoride rinses, have reduced the risk of cavities in children and adolescents.

Dental cavity can be treated with restorative fillings. A fluoride gel can also be used to reverse minor tooth decay.

Adults with old dental fillings may establish cavities around the margins of the old fillings. Dental cavity in roots exposed by receding gums may also develop in older adults. Seek clarification with the dentist about ways to protect oral health and prevent cavities.

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