Sky Dental

Understanding Tooth Decay: Symptoms and Treatment

Understanding Tooth Decay: Symptoms and Treatment

Tooth decay, or dental caries, is a prevalent oral health issue affecting individuals of all ages. It occurs when bacteria in the mouth produce acids that damage the protective outer layer of the tooth called enamel. By understanding the symptoms of tooth decay and the available treatment options, you can prevent further damage and maintain a healthy smile. Explore the causes, symptoms, and treatments of tooth decay in this informative article.

Causes and Symptoms of Tooth Decay:

Tooth decay is a progressive dental disease triggered by bacteria converting sugars and carbohydrates from food into acids. These acids gradually erode the enamel, leading to the formation of small openings or cavities in the teeth. If left untreated, decay can penetrate deeper, affecting the dentin and eventually reaching the tooth's pulp, causing severe pain and infection.

Symptoms of tooth decay include:

  • Tooth Sensitivity: Sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet stimuli, resulting in temporary sharp pain.
  • Toothache: Persistent toothache ranging from mild to severe, often aggravated by biting or chewing.
  • Visible Holes or Discoloration: Noticeable holes or pits on affected teeth, accompanied by white, brown, or black spots.
  • Bad Breath: Persistent bad breath caused by bacterial breakdown of food particles.
  • Swelling and Pus: Advanced cases may lead to a tooth abscess, with swelling, pus, fever, and a foul taste in the mouth.

Treatment Options for Tooth Decay:

Several treatment options are available based on the severity of tooth decay:

  • Dental Fillings: Small cavities can be treated with dental fillings. Decay is removed, and the cavity is filled with materials like composite resin, porcelain, or amalgam.
  • Dental Crowns: When decay compromises the tooth's structure extensively, a dental crown is placed over the remaining tooth to restore its shape, strength, and functionality.
  • Root Canal Therapy: If the decay reaches the tooth's pulp, causing pain and infection, a root canal procedure is performed. The infected pulp is removed, and the root canals are sealed. A dental crown is often placed to protect and strengthen the tooth.
  • Tooth Extraction: In cases of severe damage where the tooth cannot be saved, extraction may be necessary. Options for tooth replacement, such as dental implants, bridges, or dentures, can be discussed.


Tooth decay prevention is key to maintaining optimal oral health. Follow these preventive measures:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss daily to remove plaque and food particles from between teeth.
  • Limit consumption of sugary and acidic foods and beverages.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and check-ups.

By recognizing the symptoms of tooth decay and seeking early treatment, you can prevent further damage and maintain a healthy smile. Remember, oral health is an integral part of overall well-being. Take care of your teeth and prioritize regular dental care for a confident, healthy smile.

Ask Questions

We will gladly answer any questions you may have.

  Ask Questions

Book Online

Sky Dental offers the ability to request your dentist appointments online. Schedule an appointment now!

  Book Online

MyChart Login

Login to check and manage your medical history.

  Access MyChart
Sorry, we're currently closed. Please send us a message and we'll get back to you as quickly as possible.