Tooth decay


By Brandie Umar, Executive Director of ContentLast modified: October 05, 2011

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is one of the main causes of toothache and dental problems. Tooth decay is caused by excess bacteria inside plaque that builds up inside the mouth and on tooth enamel. This acidic bacteria destroys the protective surface of teeth by dissolving the calcium in tooth enamel.



Toothache is often due to a dental cavity - a hole in the tooth caused by tooth decay. Small tooth cavities can be treated with a routine dental filling however left untreated, tooth decay can lead to larger cavities and dental abscesses that require root canal treatment. Teeth that are cracked or broken are more likely to be affected by tooth decay.


Cavities in teeth are caused by tooth decay and if not treated can lead to the tooth needing to be extracted. Dental fillings allow dentists to remove the decay from inside the tooth and seal the hole inside the tooth to prevent any further damage.

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This article was written by the medical research team at does not intend for any of the information on this site to be regarded as medical advice - it is meant as a starting point for understanding treatment details and options before contacting a registered, licensed doctor. We advise all patients to seek medical advice from a doctor.
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