All You Need to Know About Tooth Decay

Tooth or dental decay is the softening and destruction of the enamel, which is the tooth’s hard outer layer. Cavities, or holes in the tooth, develop as a result. Almost everyone suffers from tooth decay or a cavity at some point in their lives.

Causes of Tooth Decay

Plaque is a sticky film that forms on the teeth and gums constantly and is a significant cause of tooth decay. Bacteria that feed on the sugars, starches, and carbohydrates that remain on your teeth after you eat make this plaque and produce acids that corrode the enamel. There are several reasons why people become vulnerable to dental decay. These include:

  • Lack of a proper brushing and flossing routine, which leads to plaque and tartar build-up
  • A dry mouth or absence of sufficient saliva. The saliva in our mouth aids in washing away the plaque on the teeth. Its absence creates an ideal environment for the bacteria to build-up
  • Acid reflux causes the stomach acid to rise and then come into contact with teeth. This causes erosion of the enamel if the problem is frequent. Similarly, frequent vomiting, for example in bulimia, can also cause decay

Signs of Tooth Decay

You may have tooth decay if you are experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Toothache: The pain may be continuous and keep you awake. However, it can also manifest as an occasional sharp pain without an obvious cause. On the other hand, some people do not experience pain at all
  • Spots: You may notice grey, brown, or black spots on your teeth
  • Bad Breath: You may have consistent bad breath as well as an unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Sensitivity: You may feel pain or tenderness while eating or drinking edibles of extreme temperatures or those that are sweet

The Stages

There are five stages  — worsening gradually and leading to tooth infection. The tooth decay stages are classified as

  • Initial demineralisation
    Enamel decay
  • Dentin decay
  • Pulp damage
  • Abscess

The Treatment

Treatment for tooth decay depends on the extent of damage present. A simple fluoride treatment, for example, can sometimes reverse a cavity in its early stages. Other treatments include fillings, dental crowns, root canal therapy, and tooth extractions.

Preventative measures can help you avoid cavities as well as act against the progression of tooth decay. Regular dental check-ups allow your dentist to identify tooth decay and cavities in earlier stages and provide timely treatment. The earlier you get tooth decay treatment, the more you can save time and money. Delaying treatment or not receiving a diagnosis can cause the problem to worsen — requiring more complicated and expensive treatments.

Tooth Decay Removal Services in Seattle

At Sue Vetter, with regular dental check-ups, we can timely diagnose tooth decay and provide quality treatments. We also offer treatments for different levels of damage caused by decay.

To learn more about our tooth decay removal services or book your appointment, please call or visit us.










Schedule your Appointment

(206) 547 4131


2101 North 34th Street Suite 170

Seattle, Washington 98103



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