Tooth Decay: Causes, Symptoms and Prevention

Bacteria inside our mouth feed on the sugar and starch that we consume in food. They convert the sugar and starch into acids which then attack the enamel of the teeth. Overtime cavities develop which spread across the tooth if left untreated. Plaque is a sticky deposit around the teeth. It is composed of bacteria, food particles, saliva and acid and starts forming as soon as we eat something sweet.

What causes tooth decay?

  1. Infrequent brushing of teeth and not following a brushing regime leads to build        up of plaque which eats on the tooth enamel.
  2. Plaque starts to form as soon as a sugary food or beverage is consumed. The              more such food is consumed, the more the likelihood of acidic formation called          plaque.
  3. Dry mouth which can be a side effect of certain medications or a medical                    condition helps with the formation of plaque. Saliva helps to wash away the food.     debris. Lack of saliva in the mouth encourages the formation of plaque.

Symptoms of tooth decay:

  1. Sensitivity to drinking anything cold, hot or sweet.
  2. Visible brown or black holes or pits in your teeth.
  3. Pain while chewing.
  4. Toothache that is either continuous or an occasional sharp stabbing pain without      any obvious reason.


  1. Brush after each meal.
  2. Schedule regular dental checkups with your dentist.
  3. Floss daily to clear the debris stuck between teeth.
  4. Drink plenty of water to avoid dry mouth.
  5. Limit consumption of sugar and food rich in carbohydrates.