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Tooth decay – causes, side effects and treatments at

Thursday, July 05, 2018 by

Tooth decay occurs when hard tooth tissues are damaged. This is caused by bacteria which feeds on sugar left on a tooth, which then produces acid. Plaques get formed and eventually damage the tooth. Oftentimes, tooth decays appear as holes, but there are times when it’s invisible to the naked eye as it lies between the teeth or underneath a filling or a crown.

Tooth decay is considered one of the most common dental problems worldwide as it can affect anyone with teeth, including younger children.

Known risk factors and symptoms of tooth decay

The people who were found to be more at risk of getting tooth decays include:

  • Those from lower-income families
  • Older adults, more particularly senior citizens
  • People taking medications or are with diseases causing salivary flow decrease
  • Those undergoing radiation therapy
  • People with diabetes
  • Smokers
  • Alcohol and drug users
  • Those who consume large amounts of carbonated and sugary drinks

Meanwhile, those who have tooth decay may experience these symptoms:

  • Pain when chewing
  • Bad breath
  • Unpleasant taste in the mouth
  • Increased sensitivity of the teeth
  • Holes in the teeth
  • Dark spots or discoloration of the teeth
  • Bleeding when brushing
  • Gum swelling
  • Pain due to changes in pressure

Body systems affected by tooth decay

In some cases, tooth decays are left untreated and when this happens, complications may occur, such as:

  • Severe pain
  • Severe infections
  • Difficulty in biting and chewing
  • Tooth abscess which can lead to blood infection
  • Tooth loss
  • Broken or fractured tooth
  • Hypersensitivity, particularly in temperatures
  • This condition can affect a person’s self-confidence, self-esteem, and even appetite.

Food items or nutrients that may prevent tooth decay

The following are food items and natural remedies which work best in preventing or relieving the symptoms of tooth decay:

  • Clove – It has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antibacterial properties. Clove is known as one of the best ingredients for treating dental problems.
  • Salt – It has antiseptic and antibacterial properties that can help reduce inflammation, ease the pain, and stop infection.
  • Oil pulling – It helps remove bacteria from the mouth.
  • Garlic – It has great antibacterial properties and can also reduce pain.
  • Licorice – It has compounds found to be effective in preventing cavity growth.
  • Turmeric – It helps keeps the gums healthy and the teeth away from tooth decay with its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Indian lilac – It has antibacterial properties effective in preventing bacteria from damaging the teeth.
  • Indian gooseberry – It combats bacteria and infection with its high content of antioxidants and vitamin C.
  • Nutmeg – It has anticariogenic properties which help prevent tooth decay.
  • Wheatgrass – It has antibacterial properties that fight bacteria and infections and can also help reduce pain.

Treatments, management options for tooth decay

When treating tooth decay, it is important to remember the following tips shared by healthcare experts:

  • Limit sugar intake
  • Cut down on carbonated drinks
  • Have it treated early
  • Go to regular dental check-ups

Where to learn more


Tooth decay occurs when acid builds up on the teeth and becomes plaques. These plaques can cause holes on the teeth. People from lower-income families, senior citizens, diabetes patients, and smokers are only some of those who have a higher risk of developing tooth decays.

Symptoms of this dental problem include pain when chewing, bad breath, unpleasant taste in the mouth, increased sensitivity of the teeth. holes in the teeth, dark spots or discoloration of the teeth, bleeding when brushing, gum swelling, and pain due to changes in pressure.

If left untreated, tooth decay can cause severe pain and infections, difficulty in eating, tooth abscess, holes, discoloration, broken tooth, and hypersensitivity to temperature.

Cutting down on sweets and carbonated drinks can help treat tooth decay.

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