What Causes Your Tooth To Decay

Tooth To Decay

Oral health has a huge impact on our personal well-being. You must be wondering how.

Here’s how.

Think of how you’d feel if there was a black hole in your favourite white gown. Can you? Isn’t the thought itself terrifying? May be with teeth we realise it only when we go through it, but it does have an effect that bad.

Oral health condition can also affect a person psychologically to a large extent. This is a proven fact as teeth can influence how a person looks, speaks, smiles and of course, how they chew. Social aspects are a part of the general habits that a person has, and if they seem clumsy, it definitely lowers the person’s confidence, and increases a lot of reluctance in front of a large crowd.

So, while relating to the hole in your dress to your teeth, we’re referring to tooth decay. Tooth decay causes cavities, making it worse for you to have a happy bite. So, let’s learn more about tooth decay and it’s causes.

What is tooth decay?

Tooth decay refers to the damage that occurs in your tooth/teeth, which is caused by certain bacteria in your mouth. This bacteria produce acids that eat away the tooth. It leads to a hole in the tooth called a cavity, and can also result in severe infections and tooth loss.

There are three main layers of the tooth which get affected by the decay process. 

Layers of Tooth

  • The enamel – hard outermost layer.
  • The dentin – middle layer.
  • The pulp – The centremost layer which contains nerves and blood vessels that supply blood the teeth and gums.

The more number of layers affected, the more damage is caused to the teeth.

Causes of tooth decay

Tooth decay is a common occurrence in very young children, teenagers and older adults. When food gets lodged and stuck in the teeth and is not cleaned properly, bacteria forms a clear, sticky substance called plaque on your teeth and gums. Plaque contains bacteria that feed on the sugars which are present in the food. While the bacteria feed on these sugars, they produce acids which destroy the tooth’s  enamel, resulting in tooth decay.

Habits that can lead to tooth decay:

  • Irregular brushing and flossing of your teeth.
  • Consuming foods with high sugar content and carbohydrates.
  • Lack of enough fluoride.
  • Not having enough saliva (dry mouth) which is often seen in older adults.
  • You are a high risk if you are diabetic.
  • Smoking, and excessive passive smoking.

Symptoms that indicate tooth decay

On a general note, tooth decay doesn’t cause any specific symptoms until your teeth have  cavities or if you have an infected tooth. Apart from having an infected tooth, if you have a cavity with severe pain in your tooth, it could be a possible symptom of a tooth decay. Here are a list of symptoms that you may relate to if you have a tooth decay.

  • Swelling in your gums near an infected or sore tooth: This can be a sign of severe tooth decay.
  • If you are experiencing a bad breath or bad taste in your mouth.
  • If you notice grey, brown, or blackish spots on your teeth.

If you have a toothache, the best you can do is to let your dentist know about it. Sometimes the pain might fade away for a while, but the tooth decay might just keep doing it’s job. If you leave it untreated it might cause your tooth to die, and can also affect the surrounding teeth. So make the right choice now!

About Dr. Gowtham Kattamuri

Dr. Gowtham has done his BDS from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in 2006 and  MDS – Conservative Dentistry & Endodontics from Dr. MGR Medical University in 2010. He is a skilled Endodontist with an experience of over 10 years. Dr. Gowtham is specialized in replacement of teeth, Dental Implants, prosthetics for maxillofacial defects such as artificial eye, ear, nose and orbital defects, Smile Makeovers with laminates, Zirconia, veneers metal free ceramics. He also performs general dental procedures such as restorations and extractions. He also is trained as an International Patient Coordinator.


GA Dental Clinics is a standout amongst the all the famous dental hospitals in Hyderabad, owing to the world class infrastructure it has, and the utility of leading edge technology at the clinic. Besides its unique infrastructure and highly qualified specialists, GA Dental Clinic believes in delivering services at par with global standards.