Tooth Decay

Tooth decay (dental caries) is damage to a tooth that can happen when decay-causing bacteria in your mouth make acids that attack the tooth’s surface, or enamel. This can lead to a small hole in a tooth, called a cavity. If tooth decay is not treated, it can cause pain, infection, and even tooth loss.

People of all ages can get tooth decay once they have teeth—from childhood through the senior years.

Young children are at risk for “early childhood caries,” sometimes called baby bottle tooth decay, which is severe tooth decay in baby teeth.

Because many older adults experience receding gums, which allows decay-causing bacteria in the mouth to come into contact with the tooth’s root, they can get decay on the exposed root surfaces of their teeth.

Causes

When decay-causing bacteria come into contact with sugars and starches from foods and drinks, they form an acid. This acid can attack the tooth’s enamel causing it to lose minerals.

This can happen if you eat or drink often, especially foods and drinks containing sugar and starches. The repeated cycles of these “acid attacks” will cause the enamel to continue to lose minerals. Over time, the enamel is weakened and then destroyed, forming a cavity.

Symptoms

In early tooth decay, there are not usually any symptoms. As tooth decay advances, it can cause a toothache (tooth pain) or tooth sensitivity to sweets, hot, or cold. If the tooth becomes infected, an abscess, or pocket of pus, can form that can cause pain, facial swelling, and fever.

Diagnosis

Tooth decay can be found during a regular dental check-up. Early tooth decay may look like a white spot on the tooth. If the decay is more advanced, it may appear as a darker spot or a hole in the tooth. The dentist can also check the teeth for soft or sticky areas or take an x-ray, which can show decay.

Treatment

Dentists commonly treat cavities by filling them. A dentist will remove the decayed tooth tissue and then restore the tooth by filling it with a filling material.

Helpful Tips

Here are some things you can do to prevent tooth decay:

  • Use fluoride, a mineral that can prevent tooth decay from progressing, and even reverse, or stop, early tooth decay. You can get fluoride by
    • Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste.
    • Drinking tap water with fluoride.
    • Using fluoride mouth rinse.
  • Have a good oral hygiene routine. Brush teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and regularly clean between teeth with floss or another interdental (between-the-teeth) cleaner.
  • Make smart food choices that limit foods high in sugars and starches. Eat nutritious and balanced meals and limit snacking.
  • Do not use tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco. If you currently use tobacco, consider quitting.
  • See a dentist for regular check-ups and professional cleanings.
Babka Ooo7
Babka Ooo7
2021-07-19
I've been going here for years it’s amazing! The quality is the best I’ve ever had, and the services are amazing. I would 100% recommend this to anyone, and I have too many people already.
katherine kervalishvili
katherine kervalishvili
2021-07-17
I've been coming to Renewal Dental Spa for over 5 years now and I can't recommend it enough. Amazing services and when it comes to skincare treatments Nelli is the best.
C
C
2021-05-26
I had a variety of facial treatments with Nellie over many years. She is extremely knowledgeable and very honest person. After her treatments my skin looks perfect and I get a lot of compliments. I would highly recommend her.
inna gankina
inna gankina
2021-03-16
We had a very pleasant experience with Dr. Inessa Safarov and her staff. Dr. Inessa Safarov was very patient and the staff was very helpful and kind and always available to help. Dr. Inessa Safarov is very professional, she takes the time to explain what needs to be done and provides valuable advice.
Tet Atet
Tet Atet
2021-03-08
I had great experience Dr. Safarov office . The staff and Dr. Safarov were very friendly and helpful. I especially loved how Dr. Safarov really took her time to explain my conditions with me as well as my treatment options. I had a great visit and results , so I highly recommend this clinic.
Karol Zavala
Karol Zavala
2021-03-05
Dr. Safarov is the best dentist, she is so sweet ,definitely would recommend to friends and family!
brittnay lora
brittnay lora
2021-03-04
Dr. safarov is the best dentist there is! Shes so gentle and nice!!
Yevgeniy Z
Yevgeniy Z
2021-03-04
Dr.Inessa is a godsend! Very patient, who gently cares about her patients. brilliant dentist, extremely knowledgeable with insurance providers. Stuff at Renew Dental Spa beyond amazing. Dr.Inessa is the best Dentist I have ever had in a long time. Highly recommend.
Ilona Lisichkina
Ilona Lisichkina
2021-03-04
Dr. Inessa is truly EXCEPTIONAL! It's rare to find a doctor that combines such personal touches and care for a patient as a person with outstanding quality of medical care. She is extremely knowledgeable and one of the kindest professionals. She listen, asks, explain and resolve problem. Great medical office, amazing and helpful stuff. Not pricy. Wonderful and warm experience from start to finish. HIGHLY recommend Dr. Inessa. Enjoy your visit at Renew Dental Spa.