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August, 2021

Tooth Decay - How to prevent and fix it

tooth decay removal in bangalore

Tooth decay is the damage done to a tooth's surface or enamel. Anyone can be a victim of tooth decay - children, teens or adults. If tooth decay is not treated in its earliest stage, it can cause pain, infection, and worse, it can cause tooth loss! 

Let’s understand how exactly tooth decay takes place. 

What causes tooth decay and what is the process of tooth decay? 

Our mouth contains bacteria - some are helpful and others harmful. The harmful ones are the reason for tooth decay. These harmful bacteria, together with food come together to form a sticky film called plaque. The bacteria present in plaque use sugar and starch from our food to produce or make acids. The acid begins to eat the minerals of our tooth enamel; while the plaque hardens and turns into tartar. If the enamel keeps losing minerals, it will weaken and will eventually lead to tooth decay. 

Besides damaging the teeth, plaque and tartar also are known to cause severe gum diseases like gingivitis and advanced form of periodontitis. 

Who is at a higher risk of developing tooth decay?

  • Those who do not brush or floss their teeth properly, which allow plaque to build up.

  • Those who use smokeless tobacco - Sugars are often added to enhance the flavour of smokeless tobacco, which can increase the risk of tooth decay.

  • Those who tend to put off visiting the dentist, are at a higher risk of developing cavities.

  • Those that tend to have diets high in salt, fats and sugar, which contribute to tooth decay.

  • Those who use laxatives. These are intended to treat bowel disorders or to induce labour but may cause tooth decay.

  • Those who do not have enough saliva, because of medicines, certain diseases, or some cancer treatments.

  • Toddlers and babies who drink milk from bottles, especially before bedtime

  • Older adults who have receding gums. This raises the risk of decay as the root is exposed.

  • Those who have dental devices or worn fillings in the mouth. Over the years, dental fillings can weaken or develop irregular edges. This allows plaque to build up easily and makes it harder to remove. Ill-fitting dental devices allow decay to begin underneath them.

  • Those suffering from heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause stomach acid to flow into the mouth, wearing away the enamel of the teeth and causing significant tooth damage.

  • Those having a family history of cavities/tooth decay 

Sakra World Dental Clinic is one of the best dental clinics in Bangalore, equipped with the right mix of specialists, technology and procedures to provide exceptional oral care to patients of all ages and genders.

Signs and Symptoms of tooth decay

The signs and symptoms of cavities change, depending on the cavity’s extent and position. Tartar build-up can be treated as an early sign of tooth decay. However, at the onset, these are some of the signs and symptoms you will experience:

  • Uncontrollable toothache

  • Tooth pain that occurs without any obvious reason

  • Tooth and gum sensitivity

  • Pain while eating or drinking (hot and cold food)

  • Holes in the teeth

  • Black, brown or white staining of the tooth

  • Bad breath

  • Bleeding gums

How can cavities or tooth decay be treated? 

There are several options, but the treatment depends on the severity of tooth decay. The various options include: 

  • Fluoride: When tooth decay is spotted early, a fluoride treatment may help restore the tooth's enamel. This process is called remineralization. Fluoride treatments may be in the form of liquid, gel, foam or varnish that is placed in a mouth tray and fitted over the teeth. This treatment is conducted at a dental clinic. Further to this, the dentist will prescribe certain fluoride medications and direct you on how to use them.

  • Fillings: When decay has progressed beyond an early stage, a filling is the most sought after option. In this treatment, dentists will drill out the decayed material or use laser technology to do the same and fill the hole. Dental fillings are made of composite resin, silver amalgam, or gold.

  • Crowns: For weakened teeth or extensive tooth decay damage, a crown is recommended. A crown is a custom-fitted cap that replaces the tooth's entire natural crown.

  • Root canal: When decay enters the inner area of the tooth (pulp), a root canal is required. Endodontists are dental specialists who perform root canal treatment. This treatment helps repair and save a badly damaged tooth instead of extracting it. In this treatment, the diseased tooth pulp is removed and the pulp is replaced with a filling. Medication is added into the root canal to clear any infection.

  • Tooth extraction: If a root canal isn’t possible, the dentist may extract the tooth. To replace a permanent pulled tooth, you may need a dental implant.

Prevention of tooth decay - The most important part!

  • Brush with fluoride toothpaste regularly

  • Avoid sugary drinks, such as juices, sodas, sports drinks and sweet tea

  • Avoid coffee or alcohol

  • Avoid abrasive and harsh brushing techniques

  • Limit your intake of processed foods

  • Floss daily to get rid of food and stuck between the teeth

  • Avoid frequent snacking and sipping

  • Consider dental sealants

  • Do not miss your regular dental appointments, and if you can’t remember when was the last time you visited a dentist; it’s about time you book your appointment now.

You may not be aware that a cavity is forming and if cavities aren't treated early, they can affect deeper layers of our teeth, causing severe toothache, infection and tooth loss. That is why it is extremely important to have routine dental checkups and cleanings done, even when your mouth feels fine.

Are you experiencing any signs and symptoms of tooth decay? Let us help you!

If you are looking for tooth decay removal in Bangalore the consult Sakra World Hospital, we have a team of the best dental surgeon in Bangalore who are from India’s prestigious dental institutes and centres.



Dr Balasubramanya K.V

HOD & Senior Consultant - Periodontics

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