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Tooth Decay–The Symptoms, Causes, and How to Treat It

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Woman with toothache

Do you know what tooth decay is? It’s simple. Tooth decay is damage that occurs on your tooth’s surface that’s caused by bacteria that produce acids that attack the enamel. This can lead to a variety of problems, such as cavities and infection, that can be painful and hard to treat if not addressed right away.

That said, how do you know if you have tooth decay? What causes it, and how do I treat it? These are the questions that we will answer today:

How Do I Know If I Have Tooth Decay?

While the early stages of tooth decay are almost imperceptible, you’ll begin to notice symptoms at the second stage. Common symptoms of tooth decay include:

Visible damage to the enamel on the visible parts of your teeth

Developing sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures

Receding gums

A foul odor when you’re chewing

Discoloration of your tooth


If you notice any of the above signs or symptoms, then it is vital to check in with your dentist right away. Whatever the problem may be, tackling the issue early on will make it easier for the dentist to tackle and also help alleviate the painful symptoms of dental issues like tooth decay.

What Causes Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay can be caused by a number of things, but the most common cause is the bacteria that live in your mouth. We have good bacteria, and we have bad bacteria. Bad bacteria thrive in our mouths and feed off of the sugars that we consume, creating acids that attack our teeth. But the most common source of tooth decay is a diet filled with sugary foods.

Not brushing your teeth after consuming sugary foods or drinks is one of the biggest causes of tooth decay, as the bacteria will now have a sugary food source to feed off of. This is why it’s recommended to brush after meals that contain a lot of sugar.

How Do I Treat Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay is easy to treat, but the sooner you realize you have it, the quicker you can address it. The first thing you should do is cut out the foods that cause decay, such as candy, soda, processed food, and anything else that’s high in sugar or carbs. After that, you should brush your teeth regularly, twice each day. These two activities alone can reduce your risk of tooth decay significantly, but always remember that they alone will not put you entirely at risk. That’s why it is important to visit your dentist once in a while for a dental check-up. They can look around for any signs of issues and can also professionally clean your teeth to keep tooth decay and various other dental issues at bay!


Tooth decay is something that happens to just about everyone in some capacity. Were you aware of this? If not, that’s okay! Now you know what to look for and how to treat it. With these two pieces of information at your disposal, you should be able to effectively treat any signs of tooth decay and significantly reduce your risk in the future.

Of course, if you have any questions or concerns about tooth decay, don’t be afraid to reach out to your dentist for more information!

Danvers Aesthetic Family Dentistry is your go-to dentist that offers a wide variety of dental services to keep your oral health in check. If you are looking for Danvers family dentistry for tooth restoration and more, get in touch with us today!

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