Dental Caries or Tooth Decay – Risk Factors, and Prevention.


Dental caries can also be termed as tooth decay which is a microbial, progressive, and post-eruptive disease affecting the dental hard tissues resulting in inorganic constituent decalcification and dissolution of organic compounds. It is a dynamic process where both the demineralization and remineralization occurs simultaneously. When the rate of demineralization is greater than the remineralization rate, a cavity is formed. Typically dental caries can be spotted only in two specific areas of the teeth :

Occlusal carries, which forms on the top of the tooth where the mastication of food happens.

Interproximal caries, which are forms between the teeth, an area where the bacteria resides.

Pathophysiology and stages of tooth decay

‘Caries process’ is the term given to continues sequence of changes at the junction of each tooth. The interface between each tooth a layer of plaque or biofilm builds up.

  • Demineralisation: Cariogenic bacteria in the plaque biofilm convert sugars into harmful acids that lower the pH below the critical level (pH- 5.5) and initiate the demineralization.
  • Early lesion: tooth enamel is in a constant state of demineralization and remineralization. If the net time spent demineralizing is greater than that spent remineralizing, early white-spot lesions can form.
  • Cavitation: Early caries starts to form as a result of the enamels long exposure to acidic pH, constantly enduring the demineralization process and losing strength and structural integrity.

Causes and Risk factors

  • Poor oral hygiene practices
  • Dental plaque
  • Bleeding gums
  • Poor alignment of the bite cause damage to enamel thickness
  • People who get their permanent teeth earlier in life are at greater risk for cavities
  • Deep tooth crevices and enamel issues
  • Less thickness of enamel
  • Crooked and overlapped teeth
  • Improper nutrition
  • Bedtime feeding
  • Frequent snacking or sipping
  • Not getting enough fluoride
  • Sugary Foods
  • Acidic foods and drinks
  • Lack of saliva and dry mouth issues
  • Heartburn
  • Tooth grinding
  • Genetics
  • Age


1510 to 1590 – Frenchman Pare declared that a toothache was due to internal forces of hot or cold that resulted in caries.

1678 to 1761 – Pierre Fauchard, was one of the first to prefer the more technical term of caries.

1700 to 1800 – using histological preparation and stain technology, it is identified that caries was caused by external chemical agents.

1835 – Robertson, described that the caries was caused by the chemical disintegration of a tooth.

 Symptoms of dental caries

Symptoms vary depending upon the density and their location on the teeth. Symptoms of dental caries include:

  • Sensitive tooth
  • Cavity or pit in your teeth’s
  • Pain while biting any down any food
  • Pain that causes without any apparent cause
  • Black, brown or white staining on the head of the teeth
  • Mild sharp pain when eating or drinking something


  • Continuous tooth pain
  • Tooth abscess become infected and trigger invasion of infection into the bloodstream cause sepsis
  • Chewing food is very much difficult
  • Increased risk of tooth chipping
  • Pus production around infected tooth
  • Gum disease (gingivitis)

Diagnosis and tests

Some of the diagnosis and tests for dental caries include:

  • Your dentist may usually do the physical examination in your mouth.
  • Asking about history of pain and sensitivity
  • By using dental instruments doctor may check the soft areas
  • Taking dental X-rays, which can show the extent of cavity and tooth decay

Treatment for dental caries

There are four main ways to treat dental caries include:

Crowns: It is used when teeth decay goes severe. Your dentist may place a cap on your tooth to replace the natural crown.

Root canal: Another method of treatment that can get rid of dental caries is called root canal treatment. If the pulp of the teeth is gravely affected by the decay, your doctor may perform root canal treatment. It involves the removal of the tooth along with the decayed portion and sealed with sealing material.

Root canal treatment

Tooth filling: There are different materials used for filling the tooth such as composite resin and amalgam. It is made from silver, copper, mercury and other metals, while these materials look like a tooth color so it will give better appearance

Extraction: sometimes tooth may decay even after repair. In that case, the tooth must be extracted before it gets infected other places in the mouth. The removal of teeth may affect the alignment of the other teeth in the mouth. So, in this case, the dental implants can be used such as bridge and partial denture.

Prevention of dental caries

  • Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste for twice a day mainly after a meal
  • Rinse your mouth with fluoride
  • Visit your dentist regularly, do oral cleaning and regular oral exams, which can prevent dental problems
  • Avoid frequent snacking and sipping
  • Eat tooth healthy foods
  • Chewing gum that contains xylitol helps to decrease bacterial growth
  • Use of sealant in molar teeth’s

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  1. Oti John Brobbey

    what causes gum breeding

    • brushing your teeth too vigorously or wearing dentures that don’t fit correctly and plaque formation on teeth may cause gum bleeding.

  2. how can one prevent gum bleeding at home?

    • -Salt Water Mouth Rinse
      -Take a little honey on your fingertips and massage it gently on your gums
      -Soak a tea bag in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Remove it and allow it to cool. Place it on your gums and leave it on for 5 minutes
      -Drink a cup of warm milk whenever your gums begin to bleed
      -Drink a cup of unsweetened cranberry juice
      -Swish sesame or coconut oil in your mouth for 10-15 minutes (Oil pulling)

  3. pl.suggests how many cost for root canal.the denstist demand a lot money.

  4. how can we get white color tooth i hv tried all thing but the teeth are pale

    • There are some natural way to make your teeth to be white
      -Brush With Baking Soda
      -Oil Pulling
      -Use Hydrogen Peroxide
      -Use Apple Cider Vinegar

  5. I cant but sincerely appreciate your effort… But dentist i must ask…My mum is living with with a tooth ache problem… Of the disease name i dont know… but it is giving her more pains…To say more she has remove two to three of her teeth on this issue. And i cant watch her in pain. In a nut i want u to provide us with a lasting solution. Or drugs. Looking forward to hear from you. Thanks. Israel

  6. can you tell me names of flouride pasts or gel. and some thing more which can i use at my home to prevent tooth decay?

  7. eating hot food and cold water cause tooth decades, so what should we do to prevent this decade

  8. tell us what to do to prevent tooth decade.

    • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste. Preferably, brush after each meal and especially before going to bed. Clean between your teeth daily with dental floss or interdental cleaners, such as the Oral-B Interdental Brush, Reach Stim-U-Dent, or Sulcabrush

  9. my tooth is always worrying me wen I eat hard meat

  10. Abdul Shahiid JumaYour Name

    I have tooth decay but can you replace that damaged part

  11. I have a cases where the tooth had hole and the patients ended sleepless night day by days. how can this problem be solve.

  12. Karol Steven Villacarillo

    Teach us how to remove tooth sensetivity

    • Find a way to incorporate fluoride into your oral hygiene routine.
      Use Low abrasion toothpaste.
      avoid staining foods such as coffee, tea, and red wine.

  13. pls I want to know about fluoride tnk.

  14. does it mean that it has no cure with drugs and injection?

    • Dental Prosthetics can cure dental caries in case of severe damage to the tooth. Drugs and injection reduce the pain and chances of infection in the tooth.

  15. Are there ER Dental Services? Had Auto Accident(Passenger in my car; head impact on the Windshield/broke the Glass, NO Airbags deployed on Dodge Daytona! And, Assault(on head, face, neck & Robbery in my vehicle: Officers Excluded ‘Assault’) that loosened, cracked teeth -resulting in teeth falling out & extracted. Now, remaining teeth, also have chipped off, are extremely sensitive, have sharp pains shooting up to the head/face! Any suggestions welcomed.

  16. Where can i find good Doctor / Dentist in Bangalore as my experience with privarious Doctor is not good

    • Go to a doctor who is practicing at least for 10 years. They can know about the problem entirely and also know how to eradicate it.

  17. my teeth are rotten sweling and loos

  18. Sir,at what age does problem or cases of teeth begings?

    • It does not depend on the age, but on the food you almost eat. If you often eat foods that are prone to develop caries you will definitely affect.

  19. how can we prevent gum breeding?

    • Clove Oil: Considered to be one of the best home remedies, clove oil helps to reduce the inflammation of gums and stops the gums from bleeding to a larger extent.
      Use Aloe vera: Aloe vera has many medicinal properties and one of the properties is to reduce gum inflammation, making bleeding less likely.
      Fresh fruits and vegetables: Fresh and raw vegetable and fruits not only are good for overall health they are also equally important for healthy gums as well.

  20. pls I want to know some of the toothpaste that contains fluoride

    • Consult a dentist and get help regarding your problem. do not take any paste by yourself if your suffering from dental problems.

  21. Please, what can I use to cure stiffness of the front teeth after one of the incisors was knocked-out and how to prevent the hole from aftermath effect like infection or tooth decay?

  22. Please, what can do to make a displaced tooth back to its normal position because it is affecting my talking.

  23. There is hole on my teeth, what do i do?

  24. kindly i want to know of some best toothpaste for teeth health and stop bleeding

  25. Kabwe Bellingtone

    thanks for information shared about toothache but are their medicine that can be used,for toothache ?

    • Over-the-counter pain medicines such as ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Aleve) are called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and are best taken on a schedule to provide pain relief. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is an alternative painkiller.

  26. please is there any medicine or drugs someone can buy for preventing.

  27. my issues are much different.
    Since I began heart meds the process of receding gums and my caps keep breaking off. I also have issues with upper gums. Teeth are growing and moving . THIS interferes with my headaches and sinuses. I’m lost. do not want false teeth.

  28. teeth clean

  29. Your Aminu KuraName

    Medically educative.

  30. Your Aminu KuraName

    the explanations are explicit

  31. thnxxxx 4 giving us such in4mation …….stay blessed.!!!

  32. Oderinu Yinka Oluremi

    please where can I get a dentist around me in Olorunsogo area of Ibadan? Thanks.

  33. I have toothache for one year..cavity and ciries are there.i have already gone through with lessor treatment but pain is still there
    please tell me solution thanks

  34. where can I buy flouride

  35. I have plant that cures some tooth problem.

  36. I have two holes in my teeth and i do feel pains sometimes.
    what can i do?

  37. please advisable to used toothpick to remove debris in decade tooth?

  38. Thanks a lot for this information. mine is tooth hole how will I prevent it so that I can be chewing on both sides

  39. please try to seek for medical advice /treatment if you have any tooth problem

  40. my tooth was extracted over a month now but am still in pain with a strong headache

    pls what should I do?


    Hello dear my so Soo painful of teeth what can I do help me

  42. NANDIPHA Magqashela

    Edison my installer…well done dude he was in time explained everything to me tankx again from cape town

  43. I have a problem of sweeling of gems of lower sides near last teeth.

    • Swollen gums are relatively common. Home care for gum swelling
      If you’ve noticed that your gums are swollen, try the following home care steps:
      Brush at least twice a day and floss regularly. Most swollen gums are caused by gingivitis, good oral hygiene is a strong defense.
      Make sure that your toothpaste (or mouthwash) is not irritating your gums. If you think that your oral hygiene products are irritating your gums, try another brand.
      Avoid tobacco products. Tobacco can irritate your gums.
      Avoid alcoholic beverages as they can further irritate your gums.
      Add extra fruits and vegetables to your meals to make sure you have a well-balanced diet.
      Don’t eat foods like popcorn that can get lodged between the teeth and gums.
      Stay away from sugary drinks and food.

  44. can I get partial dentures, and how much.?

  45. Striving Muslimah

    How can we make scattered teeth arranged

    • To make scattered teeth more arranged, consult with an orthodontist who specializes in correcting dental misalignments. They can recommend orthodontic treatments such as braces or clear aligners to gradually shift and align the teeth. The duration and specific approach will depend on the severity of misalignment, and regular follow-ups with the orthodontist are crucial for monitoring progress.

  46. please I have tooth hole around 5 years ago I didn’t see a dentist but now half of the crown is chopped off please I don’t want my tooth to be removed, how do I cure this…it’s really hurtful and I can’t eat with that side of my mouth… please recommend drugs that will kill the bacteria and eradicate the pain as well

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