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Decayed tooth – Symptoms, Treatments and Prevention tips you need to know

June 11th,2018

Tooth decay is one of the common dental problems and is a primary cause of tooth loss. Oral bacteria present in our mouth convert carbohydrates we consume via food into acid. The acid then combines with saliva and sticks on the surface of our teeth.

The sticky surface is called plaque. If it is not removed properly, it will become very tough and remineralize the outer surface (enamel) of our teeth. The plaque then develops to degrade the interior parts like dentin, pulp (where tooth nerves, blood vessels are present) and even cementum.

What are the factors causing cavities?

Poor oral hygiene like improper brushing, flossing, using torn toothbrushes and other analogous things are the main reason behind tooth decay.

Besides improper oral hygiene routine, there are various things that lead to cavities. Some of them are listed below:

  • Consuming too much of acidic foods and drinks
  • Eating up an excess of sugary foods
  • Dry mouth or Xerostomia
  • Teeth Grinding habit
  • Issues or defects in a tooth enamel

Similarly, age and genetics also play a dominant role in producing tooth cavities.

Symptoms of tooth decay

Tooth infected with dental caries or cavity expose various discomforts as given below:

  • Toothache – feeling continuous or inconsistent pain in the infected tooth around the tooth region. Intense pain in the tooth when you bite a thing with the decayed tooth.
  • Teeth sensitivity
  • Bad breath
  • White spots on the surface of the tooth
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Metallic or other nasty taste in the mouth
  • Tooth caries is able to shift a tooth which in result cause gap or holes between the infected tooth and adjacent teeth.
  • Swelling gums – It indicates that the infection of caries reaches the inner pulp and creates a pus deposition inside or around the infected tooth.
  • Bleeding while brushing

Dental Treatments for tooth caries

With the advancement of dentistry techniques, advanced dental treatments are available to treat and preserve the decayed tooth. It will be possible if the tooth gets treated before the cavity infects the tooth more deeply.

Your Dentist will suggest an appropriate dental treatment option to treat your decayed tooth depending on the severity or seriousness of the issue.

  • If you visit your dentist in the early stage of decay, you can preserve the tooth by extracting caries with simple dental procedures. By applying or varnishing fluoride gel on the infected area, caries deposited on a tooth get eliminated by straightening the enamel with Fluoride.
  • Dental crown treatments are required if the cavities begin to erode the outer enamel layer of a tooth.
  • If the cavity infects the enamel layer deeply, it is essential to extract the infected part and replace it with dental fillings made up of porcelain, gold, silver, alloy and other composite resins.
  • Root Canal Treatment (RCT) or Endodontic treatment is required if the pulp of the tooth gets infected by caries. The Dentist will remove the infected or dead nerves with surgical procedures and cap the treated tooth with dental crowns.

No treatment options will be helpful if caries reaches and infects the root of a tooth. Extracting the tooth alone will be helpful to preserve the adjacent teeth from decay.

Home remedies to get relief from tooth decay

Some ingredients we add while preparing food are helpful in preventing our tooth decay getting worse. Some of them are given here:

  • Take a teaspoon of coconut oil or sesame oil and pour it in your mouth. Use the oil to rinse your mouth for 20 minutes. Then spit out the oil. Now rinse your mouth with warm water. By doing this before brushing your teeth, you can eliminate the oral bacteria in your mouth efficiently.
  • Take half teaspoon of salt and mix it with lemon juice. Use this mixture to massage your gums and leave the paste in your mouth for few minutes. Now rinse your mouth with warm water. If you do this 2 times per day, the germs and bacteria reside in the gum lines are exhausted.
  • If you feel a pain due to tooth decay, take a teaspoon of turmeric powder and apply it on the infected part of the tooth. After few minutes, use warm water to swish your mouth. It will help you to minimize the tooth decay pain.
  • Consume black tea or green tea without adding more sugar. This will help you to prevent plaque or tartar deposition on your teeth.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste or consume fluoride that is available as tablets. This empowers the teeth to become more resistant to acidic attacks and bacterial infections.


Though tooth decay leads to loss or missing tooth, it is a preventable and treatable dental complication. With efficient dental hygiene routine like regular brushing, flossing, rinsing out your mouth with water after every meal, replacing worn toothbrushes with new ones and others will help you to forbid the plaque build up on your teeth and empower your teeth to stand against tooth cavity.

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