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How To Fix Tooth Decay? Effective Solutions And Prevention Tips!

The damage to the teeth that could result in cavities, dental abscesses, and tooth loss is called tooth decay. It is caused by particular types ...

by Jason Wesley

This article was created after thorough research and has been improved with the assistance of AI technology. Furthermore, our dedicated editorial team has meticulously fact-checked and polished its content for accuracy and clarity.

The damage to the teeth that could result in cavities, dental abscesses, and tooth loss is called tooth decay. It is caused by particular types of bacteria that can endure in dental plaque.  The sugars in the meal can be changed into acids by the bacteria in plaque. These acids have the potential to harm the teeth if plaque accumulation is permitted to continue over time. Due to this, maintaining proper dental hygiene is essential to avoiding tooth decay.

Tooth decay happens in different phases. It can be different for different people, depending on the stage and severity. Pain and swollen lymph nodes are considered the most common symptoms of this disease.

5 Different Stages Of Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is facilitated mainly by dental plaque. The sticky, white film that coats the surfaces of the teeth is called plaque. It is composed of saliva, microbes, and food particles.

Fix Tooth Decay

Plaques are formed mainly when the teeth are not cleaned regularly. Food particles and other components accumulate on the teeth, resulting in plaque. Over time, this plaque solidifies and turns into tartar. Tartar can aid in the further protection of bacteria, making their removal more challenging.

Generally, there are five stages of tooth decay. They are: 

1. Initial Demineralization

The hardest tissue in the body, enamel, is the outer layer of the teeth. Even though enamel is composed mainly of minerals, the acids produced by plaque bacteria result in the loss of these minerals. Due to this acid action, a white spot will appear on the teeth, which indicates the initial sign of mineral loss and tooth decay.

2. Enamel Decay

Enamel will deteriorate even more if tooth decay is allowed to continue. The white patch on the tooth will gradually turn brownish. Small holes called teeth cavities or dental caries will be formed as the enamel weakens. This condition will need to be rectified by a dentist.

3. Dentin Decay

The tissue underneath the enamel is called dentin. As it is softer than enamel, acid damage might cause more damage to the dentin. As a result, when dental decay reaches the dentin, it advances more quickly.

Additionally, dentin has tubes that connect to the tooth’s nerves. As the tooth decay reaches the dentin, the patient will start feeling sensitivity. This can be noticed while consuming hot or cold meals or beverages.

4. Pulp Damage

The pulp is the innermost layer of the teeth. It has blood vessels and nerves that support the tooth’s health. The nerves in the pulp provide sensation for the tooth.

The pulp may get inflamed and begin to swell when an injury occurs. As the surrounding tissues in the teeth cannot expand with the swelling to accommodate it, pressure may be placed on the nerves. This will cause pain. 

5. Abscess

Bacteria can infiltrate the pulp of teeth as decay progresses, leading to an infection. An abscess, a pocket of pus that forms at the base of the tooth, can result from increased inflammation in your teeth. Severe discomfort from tooth abscesses may radiate into the jaw. Fever, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, and swelling of the gums, face, or jaw are some abscess symptoms. 

A tooth abscess must be treated immediately since the infection can spread to other parts of the head and neck, including the jaw bones. Treatment in certain situations can entail the extraction of the afflicted tooth.  


The treatment for tooth decay depends on its different stages. In the initial stage of tooth decay, initial demineralization can be reversed before more severe damage occurs. Treating the teeth with fluoride is the common treatment for this stage. This treatment is available at a dentist. Enamel is strengthened by fluoride, increasing its resistance to the acids that plaque bacteria create. 

In addition, fluoride is frequently found in tap water and certain toothpastes. Fluoridated water is provided to over 74% of Americans who obtain tap water from a community water system. 

Treatment using fillings is usually used for the second stage, as cavities are present in this stage. Before applying a filling, the dentist will remove any decayed regions using a tool. Then, they’ll fill the hole with a substance like dental amalgam, ceramic, or resin. Usually, this material matches the tooth color. 

A root canal is required when tooth decay has progressed to the pulp. In a root canal, the pulp that is injured is extracted. After cleaning, the tooth cavity is filled in. The tooth in question is covered with a crown.  

When an abscess develops, the dentist will consider a root canal to clean out the infection and seal the tooth. In extreme circumstances, total extraction of the compromised tooth can be necessary. In addition, prescription antibiotics could be given to treat an abscess. These drugs have antibacterial properties. 

How To Prevent Tooth Decay?

The most important part of preventing tooth decay is maintaining oral hygiene. Some of the methods that help to prevent tooth decay are:

  • Regular dental check-ups

Regular dental checkups and teeth cleanings will help identify the chances of tooth decay and early detection of any dental problems.

  • Brush your teeth

Brushing the teeth after meals and at least twice a day is typically advised. Using a fluoride toothpaste will help maintain good oral health

  • Reduce the consumption of sweets

Avoiding foods or beverages with high amounts of sugar, like cookies, soft drinks, candies, and cakes, is good for oral health.

  • Avoid snacking

Avoid having too many snacks between meals, as this can give the oral bacteria additional sugars to break down into acids.

  • Make use of sealants

The molars on the top of the back teeth are covered in a thin plastic layer called a sealant. Molars are required for chewing, however food particles can get stuck in their grooves. This is avoided by covering the molar’s surface with a sealant. 


Damage to the teeth caused by bacteria found in dental plaque is known as tooth decay. These microorganisms change food carbohydrates into acids, which can harm teeth. Tooth degeneration progresses through five stages. Early phases are frequently recoverable, but later stages can permanently affect the tooth. 

Depending on the stage of the degradation, different treatments are needed. Root canals, fillings, and fluoride treatments are a few possible treatments. Proper oral hygiene and prevention methods can lessen the risk of tooth decay. These include eating less sugary meals, brushing your teeth at least twice a day, and scheduling routine dental checkups. 

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