Tooth Decay: A Guide To Causes, Treatment And Prevention

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is one of the most prevalent dental issues among most people. People of all age groups find themselves suffering from decayed teeth at some point in their lives. The most common reason why tooth decay is because the bacteria in the mouth produce acid that leads to the corrosion of the tooth enamel. That’s why you always hear dentists advising you to brush your teeth twice a day and floss them regularly. 

However, acid production by the bacteria isn’t the only reason why you might suffer from tooth decay and other dental issues. In this blog, we will tell you about the most common reasons why tooth decay occurs. We will also discuss how you can treat a decayed tooth and how to prevent it from happening.

What Is Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay is commonly known as dental caries or cavities. Tooth decaying is the process where the enamel and dentin of the teeth get damaged as they come in contact with the acid produced by the bacteria in your mouth. There are different types of tooth decay.  Each type differs according to the severity and location of the decay in your tooth. 

Causes Of Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is a multifaceted issue that can arise because of several reasons. Let’s explore a few causes of tooth decay: 

1. Genetics

The most important factor influencing most of the dental issues among people is genetics. If your genes are more susceptible to tooth decay, you might end up having more than just one cavity. 

Some people inherit a higher tendency for decayed teeth due to the genetic makeup of their enamel, saliva composition, and even their oral health. For instance, thinner enamel can be a hereditary trait among some individuals which makes them more vulnerable to acid attacks. 

2. Poor Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene is the primary reason why tooth decay occurs. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, you develop a sticky film of bacteria, called plague, on your teeth. Sometimes, brushing and flossing aren’t enough to remove this sticky film. 

When the plague doesn’t come off from your teeth, it hardens and forms into tartar which causes cavities. Therefore, regular cleaning of teeth and dental checkups are necessary to prevent tooth decay. 

3. Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is often called xerostomia and is a common cause of a decayed tooth. The production of saliva is important in neutralising acids that the bacteria produce in the mouth. Salvia also helps in washing away the food particles from your mouth. 

When the production of saliva is not sufficient, your mouth becomes an ideal place for the bacteria to grow. Eventually, you develop decayed teeth. Dry mouth is the result of medications, medical conditions, and dehydration. So, you should also keep yourself hydrated and drink enough water to manage the dry mouth. 

Symptoms Of Tooth Decay

Tooth decay can manifest itself into a major dental problem at later stages. So, you must pay attention as soon as you start experiencing some common symptoms of tooth decay. The below-mentioned are some common signs that you need to watch for. 

1. Tooth Sensitivity

Tooth sensitivity is the initial sign of a decaying or a decayed tooth. You feel sensitivity in your tooth when the enamel begins to wear away and the dentin gets exposed. Sometimes, you might also feel a sharp pain or discomfort when you consume hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and beverages. It could be a sign of a rotting tooth.

2. Toothache Or Pain

A persistent toothache is also a clear symptom of a rotting tooth. The pain can be dull, sharp, and even intense. Sometimes, you might also experience deep pain when you bite your food. 

If you feel such discomfort, it could point to the fact that the decay has progressed to the deeper layers of the tooth. It could affect the nervous system and the tissues if you don’t pay attention to it. 

3. Visible Holes Or Pits

As tooth decay advances, it can create visible holes or pits in the affected teeth. You can easily see these cavities when you conduct a closer inspection. These holes may feel rough or jagged to the tongue. Holes or pits are a clear indicator that the decay is significant and requires immediate dental attention.

4. Bad Breath (Halitosis)

Chronic bad breath is medically known as halitosis. It can be a symptom of tooth decay. Bad breath is the result of the bacteria feeding on food particles and decaying tissues that produce foul-smelling compounds. If you notice persistent bad breath despite regular brushing and flossing, it could be linked to decayed teeth.

Treatment Of Tooth Decay

The prevalence of tooth decay is nearly 90% in adults aged 20 to 64 years. This vast prevalence mandates proper medical intervention. If this decay stays for too long, it could lead to extreme discomfort. The cavity can become very deep and you might have to opt for more advanced treatments. Based on the intensity of the tooth decay, the dentist in sunshine coast might opt for one of the below-mentioned treatments. 

1. Dental Fillings

The doctor will opt for the dental filling option if the decay has progressed. Dental fillings help in restoring your tooth. The dentist takes out the decayed material from the tooth and fills the cavity with a durable material. Dental filling can help in stopping the spread of cavities to other teeth surrounding the decayed tooth.

2. Root Canal Treatment

Root canal treatment is an option when the decay reaches the tooth’s pulp. When the decay reaches the tooth’s pulp, the tooth can experience significant trauma. The pulp can also become inflamed due to severe infection. RCT can save the tooth and prevent any further spread of infection. 

3. Fluoride Treatments And Sealants

The dentist recommends fluoride treatments and sealants when the tooth cavity is in the initial stages of tooth decay. These treatments can fix the problem and stop it from spreading to other parts of your teeth.

Prevention Of Tooth Decay

Prevention is better than cure and any person can avoid dental cavities by caring for his oral health. Below are some tips for preventing tooth decay and cavities.

1. Maintain Regular Oral Hygiene

The prevention of tooth decay starts with maintaining regular oral hygiene. Maintaining oral hygiene involves brushing your teeth twice every day with a good fluoride toothpaste. Additionally, you should also include flossing in your dental care routine.

2. Healthy Diet and Limit Sugary Foods

Following a healthy diet and limiting sugary foods can also help in preventing tooth decay and cavities. Sugar promotes the growth of decay-causing bacteria in your mouth. So, if you avoid it altogether, you can have a healthy mouth free of any dental cavities. 

Conclusion

Tooth decay is a common problem that almost every person suffers from at some point in time. However, it is possible to prevent this dental issue from arising. All you need to do is make sure that you are taking preventive measures against dental caries. 

If you think you might have developed tooth decay, look for the symptoms and visit Oris Dental regularly. The experienced dentists here will ensure that your smile stays bright and healthy.  They will also give you the best advice for treating and preventing tooth decay. 

FAQs

Q) How long does it take for tooth decay to develop?

Ans: Tooth decay can develop in a few months to several years. It depends on several factors like your oral hygiene, diet, and the natural hardness of your enamel.

Q) How long does tooth decay last?

Ans: If left untreated, tooth decay can persist indefinitely, progressively worsening over time.

Q) What happens if you have tooth decay for a long time?

Ans: Prolonged tooth decay can lead to serious complications. You might end up developing cavities, infection, and abscess formation. The decay can also spread to adjacent teeth and even affect your overall health.

Q) Can tooth decay be removed?

Ans: Yes, a dentist can help in treating and removing tooth decay. Treatments vary based on the stages of tooth decay and can include fluoride treatments, dental fillings, and, in severe cases, root canal treatment.

Q) How can I treat decayed teeth at home?

Ans: While you can’t completely treat decayed teeth at home, you can manage early-stage decay by practising good oral hygiene, reducing sugar intake, and using fluoride toothpaste.

Dr. Adarsh Pisharodi - Dentist at Oris Dental

Dr. Adarsh Pisharodi

Dr. Adarsh Pisharodi, serving as the principal dentist at Oris Dental, brings a wealth of expertise spanning over 26 years to his esteemed practice. Specializing in cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, and orthodontics, he takes immense pride in rejuvenating countless smiles and instilling confidence in Sunshine Coast residents. As an esteemed member of the Australian Dental Association and esteemed dental societies, he remains steadfast in delivering exceptional care to his patients.

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Dr. Adarsh Pisharodi

Dr. Adarsh Pisharodi, serving as the principal dentist at Oris Dental, brings a wealth of expertise spanning over 26 years to his esteemed practice. Specializing in cosmetic dentistry, dental implants, and orthodontics, he takes immense pride in rejuvenating countless smiles and instilling confidence in Sunshine Coast residents. As an esteemed member of the Australian Dental Association and esteemed dental societies, he remains steadfast in delivering exceptional care to his patients.

Adarsh (Principal Dentist)

Adarsh

Adarsh (A-Dash) is the principal dentist at Oris Dental. Adarsh graduated as a dentist in 1996 from the University of Mumbai (Bombay, India). He entered private practice as an assistant dentist in one of the leading practices in Mumbai from 1996-2002. The practice offered all aspects of dentistry with the exception of Orthodontics. This prompted Adarsh to pursue a post graduate degree in Orthodontics and successfully completed the 3 year Full time the master’s program from University of Mumbai (Bombay, India) in 2005. Since then, Adarsh has been in private practice both as a general dentist and an orthodontist. He also served as teaching faculty at University in Mumbai for 3 yrs and when in India, he has been ‘the dentist’ to many dentists!! In 2008, Adarsh took the Australian Dental Council exam for direct recognition of his skill in Australia. He successfully completed the exams in the first attempt and moved to Australia early 2009. He has been in private practice in Australia since Jan 2009. Oris Dental was set up in Minyama in 2011. Oris Dental is now over 8 years old and is growing to be a well-respected practice in the area. He is particularly interested in Cosmetic dentistry Dental implants and Orthodontics. Adarsh hopes to use all the experience he has gained in the past 22 years, to offer the best in dentistry to all his patients in this practice. Adarsh believes in spreading smiles and has successfully designed smiles and in doing so improved the lives and self-confidence of many Sunshine Coast locals (Take a look at our Smile gallery!). Adarsh is an active member of the Australian Dental Association since 2009 He held the post of Senior Lecturer in Orthodontics in Mumbai University before moving to Australia. He is a Life member of the Indian Dental Association, serving as the General Secretary of the Association (Mumbai City Chapter) 2007-2009 He is Life member of the Indian Orthodontic Society. He is Candidate for Membership Examination MRACDS (Ortho) and plans to complete his membership exams soon. Adarsh is also currently pursuing his Diploma in Implant dentistry at the Royal College of Surgeons(Edinburgh). Adarsh has recently complete intensive training in implant placement and restoration in Neoss and TRI (Swiss) Implant system. He is married to Prachi for 15yrs and they have a 11 yr old son – Aarjav, a little daughter Aria who has just started prep and Daisy the mad Lab pup! He is currently learning to play Tennis and Badminton and loves watching the cricket!

Prachi (Owner/ Dentist)

Prachi

Prachi is the director, part time dentist at Oris Dental. Prachi graduated in 2002 from Nair hospital dental college, Mumbai (Bombay, India), one of the leading dental schools in Asia. She then worked in multiple private practices across Mumbai (Bombay, India). While working as a dentist in various practices she picked up the positives from them and implemented them into this practice at Oris Dental. She is very friendly by nature and is particularly good at handling children, preventive dentistry and hygiene. Prachi moved to Australia in 2009. Prachi has there on completed her Australian Dental council exams successfully in early 2011 and is now ready to bring in her 12 years of experience to Oris Dental. Prachi also serves as a part time dentist at the Oral Health Services Sunshine Coast in Caloundra Kawana and Nambour as needed.

Davina (Dentist)

Davina

Davina has been a part of our family since 2014. After completing her bachelor’s degree from the University of Queensland, Davina has been in private practice in an around the Sunshine coast for a year before joining us full time. Davina shows exemplary skills in building a great relationship and rapport with her patients and is well regarded by her peers. Davina is very highly regarded by her current patients. Davina currently works 3 days a week.

Lise Slack (Dental Hygienist)

Lise Stack

Our dental hygienist Lise Slack is a trained member of the dental team who works together with your dentist in preventing gum diseases and dental decay.

Lise joined OrisDental in 2015 and has worked extensively in private specialist practices. She graduated from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa in 1982 and has had specific training and exposure to an extensive range of periodontal conditions and treatment modalities.

Lise’s dad was a professor in dentistry and this is where her love of teeth comes from. She has invented two specialist oral care products which are available in Australia and several international countries. Lise has also lectured at international dental conferences on the maintenance of dental implants and how to help patients care for their teeth once they have contracted periodontitis.

Both adults and children can benefit from having an appointment with a dental hygienist as they are taught how dental diseases occur and how it can be prevented or managed.

Lise is married to Sam and they have two daughters. They value their family time and love adventurous outdoor sports.

Jesse (Dental Assistant)

Jesse (Dental Assistant)

Jess has been a part of Oris Dental from the outset in 2011. Always cheerful and welcoming Jess is the star amongst our patients at our practice. If you cannot find Jess in the practice she will be at the beach!

 

Kaela (Receptionist)

Debra (Receptionist)

Kaela arrived at our practice in early 2021. Coming from eight years of retail experience in Northern NSW, she loves working with people and assisting in any way she can. Kaela has also just finished her training as a dental assistant. You will immediately fall in love with her happy, bubbly personality.

Abby (Sr. Dental Assistant)

Abby (Dental Assistant)

Abby is originally from Hervey Bay, but she has been calling the Sunshine Coast home with her husband and two kids for the past four and a half years. Abby completed her cert III in dental assisting in 2015 and is looking to further her studies In the near future. Abby enjoys camping, playing guitar, and travelling
the world with her family.

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    Dr. Param Dass

    Dr. Param Dass

    Param Dass graduated with a Bachelor in Dentistry from the University of Otago, NZ in 2005. He went on to complete his Bachelor in Medicine from the University of Auckland NZ in 2010.

    Param started working part time in our practice since 2015 with special interest in surgical procedures including Dental implants and bone grafting procedures, Surgical extractions including Wisdom teeth and other minor surgical procedures.

    Param is well known for being gentle and caring in treating patients with dental anxiety and maintains a calm demeanour.

    He is also well trained in working with patients with various levels of anxiety, offering dental treatment under Happy Gas, Twilight sedation or under Full general anaesthetic.

    Dr. Brayden Fracchia

    Dr. Brayden Fracchia

    Brayden hails from North Queensland, having completed his Bachelor of Dental Surgery at JCU Cairns, practicing in Hobart and outreach dentistry from Mount Isa over the course of his studies. He has worked with us since 2020. Brayden enjoys becoming a part of a community and enjoys the outdoors and sport in his spare
    time. Having only recently moved to the beautiful Sunshine Coast, Brayden is enthusiastic and well versed in all aspects of basic general dentistry and looks forward to bringing North Queensland hospitality to the South East.

    Briar

    Briar

    Briar stated off as a trainee dental assistant in our practice mid-2020. She is the youngest member of our practice and is rapidly becoming an integral part of team Oris. Briar completed her Certificate 3 in our practice in 2021 and works full time Dental assistant at Oris Dental.

    Drew

    Drew

    Drew is Oris Dental’ newest member, who has only recently moved from his hometown of Rockhampton. He is our Oral Health Therapist, who specializes in oral health education, general check-ups, fillings and more!
    He loves a good chat and a laugh at work. He prioritizes patient’s comfort and likes to encourage an environment where everyone feels a sense of security and safety in the dental setting. When Drew isn’t at work you’ll find him having a refreshing swim at the beach or having his usual dirty chai at his local cafe.

    Jasmine

    Jasmine

    Jasmine joined our practice in November 2021 and works with our Oral Health Therapist Drew. Jasmine is new to dental assistance, however is quickly taking on any and all challenges that come her way! She loves animals, and spending quality time with her husband and two kids. Welcome to the team!

    Brooke

    Brooke

    Brooke is originally from Brisbane but has been living on the coast since 2017. She brings over 15 years of experience in the dental industry and has had the opportunity to work in London and Melbourne for the Royal Flying Doctors. Brooke enjoys surfing, scuba diving and exploring the many things that the Sunny Coast has to offer.

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