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In the mouth live several hundred microorganisms, among which the bacterium Streptococcus mutans stands out , which is found among the teeth. Well, when food remains accumulate in the mouth due to poor oral hygiene, this bacteria proliferates very easily.

As the bacteria grow, little by little the tissues around the teeth begin to break down; when it reaches the nerve endings is when an intense and constant pain arises.

However, on occasions, before this critical stage occurs, certain symptoms arise that we will explain in later sections and that allow caries to be detected prematurely. At the slightest warning sign, it is important to go to the dentist to establish a diagnosis and proper treatment.

Despite the fact that the prevalence of tooth decay has decreased considerably in recent years, the World Health Organization indicates that it is the third most common disease in the world , behind cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

One of the population groups in which tooth decay is most common are children. It is estimated that 70% of school-age children suffer from this disease.

How does tooth decay work?

  1. The first phase of caries development is completely painless , so the symptoms are very difficult to perceive. Initially, this condition only damages the enamel.
  2. In the second phase, caries attacks the dentin , the substance from which most of the tooth is made. Generally, at this stage the pain begins to appear, although in a very clear way.
  3. In the third phase, caries reaches the dental pulp , in which both the blood vessels and the nerves of the tooth are located. The pain is characterized by being very sharp and intense.
  4. If the patient does not go to the dentist, the decay progresses to the tissue surrounding the tooth . If left untreated, the risk of a tooth abscess forming, which causes great pain and can even cause the tooth to fall out.

Causes of tooth decay

Let’s see what are the main causes of this oral condition.


There are a number of foods that can cause heartburn and, therefore, can be one of the causes of tooth decay. Precooked and processed foods are not healthy for our body; they also do not promote good oral health. Other foods that fall into this category are cheese, coffee, refined flour, and white sugar . It is not about eliminating its consumption, but it is about moderating it.

Saliva and tooth

Certain aspects of the tooth, such as morphology, composition, texture or maturation have a significant influence on the greater or lesser incidence of cavities. In the same way, saliva also plays an important role in the development of this disease; When saliva decreases, cavities increase.

Oral hygiene

One of the main causes of tooth decay has to do with poor oral hygiene . The accumulation of microorganisms and food debris in the mouth notably favor the proliferation of cavities.

Symptoms of tooth decay

Generally, one of the first symptoms of the disease is a sharp pain , as well as a great sensitivity at the time of taking cold or hot foods and drinks. As the condition progresses, the pain becomes constant and intense; When this happens, it implies that it has already affected the dental nerve and is in a critical phase.

In addition to pain, there are other symptoms of tooth decay.

  • Food between the teeth: when this disease is not treated in time, it sometimes causes holes in the teeth. Thus, one of the usual symptoms in these cases is the feeling that food remains in them.
  • Inability to chew: As the decay progresses into the pulp, a pocket of pus forms. When this happens, it is common for the patient to feel pain when chewing.
  • Bad breath: bad breath is another symptom of tooth decay. Sometimes the cause is that food stays in the holes that form in the teeth and spoils.
  • Gum bleeding : when it comes to interdental caries, the chances of the gingival tissue growing in the space growing in that space that previously occupied part of the tooth is very high. This new piece of gum can cause toothbrush bleeding.

Treatment of cavities

When a patient goes to the dentist with the symptoms of caries and the professional confirms the diagnosis, he establishes the treatment based on two major factors. On the one hand, the degree of involvement of the tooth, which is determined through a visual examination and an X-ray. And, on the other hand, the general state of health of the patient himself, especially in relation to whether or not he suffers from a chronic disease.

  • If tooth decay has only affected enamel, the patient simply needs to improve their oral hygiene .
  • When tooth decay affects both enamel and dentin, the first thing to do is remove the infected tissue . The dentist must then rebuild the tooth by filling the gap with composite. It is a very resistant material that has exactly the same coloration as the tooth.
  • If the caries is in an advanced stage and has affected the pulp, the treatment is complex and requires a root canal . The dentist removes all the vascular-nervous tissue . Then, after the cavity has been thoroughly cleaned, it is filled with a material that will prevent a new infection from occurring. The last step is to rebuild the tooth, for which it may be necessary to place a crown or cap.
You may also be interested in:   Endodontics: what is it, when is it done and how long does it last?

Home remedies to reduce pain

There is a large selection of home remedies with 100% natural ingredients that can help alleviate the pain caused by cavities. It is important to remember that these remedies do not help cure the disease, but simply help calm the discomfort that it causes.

Chamomile infusion

A fantastic remedy when the pain from tooth decay is very intense. Chamomile has sedative properties , and it also helps reduce inflammation.

The ingredients are very simple: a tablespoon of chamomile and a cup of water. Put water to cook in a saucepan and when it reaches its boiling point add the tablespoon of chamomile; cook for about 10 minutes and remove. Strain the infusion and gargle with it. It is advisable to apply this remedy three times a day.

Horsetail Infusion

This is one of the most effective home remedies. Horsetail is a 100% natural ingredient with antiseptic properties , so it is of great help to reduce the action of bacteria in the mouth.

As ingredients you only need a tablespoon of horsetail and a cup of water. The preparation is so easy. Put to heat the cup of water on the fire and when it reaches its boiling point add the tablespoon of horsetail; cook for 10 minutes over low heat. Remove and strain. Ideally, take this infusion after meals.

Salt and pepper

This is one of the home remedies that works best to deal with cavities. It is about forming a kind of paste that acts as a pain reliever that reduces pain and inflammation caused by this condition. It has antibacterial properties , so it helps to eliminate the infection.

The ingredients are as follows: a quarter teaspoon of salt, a pinch of pepper and a tablespoon of water. Mix all the ingredients well to form a paste. When you have it ready, apply it directly to all the teeth using a brush.


Sage is another 100% natural ingredient that is very effective in relieving tooth decay pain . It has antibacterial and antiseptic properties.

You can apply this remedy in two ways. On the one hand, chewing on fresh sage leaves; it is advisable to do it three times a day. And, on the other hand, with an infusion of sage; You can also take this remedy three times a day.

Tips to avoid cavities

There are a number of tips that are worth taking into account to avoid the appearance of a cavity as much as possible.

  • Good oral hygiene is essential . This involves brushing your teeth three times a day using both the appropriate toothbrush and paste, and subsequently using dental floss to remove food debris that has remained between the teeth, as well as mouthwash.
  • Another important tip to avoid cavities is to follow a healthy and balanced diet , rich in fruits and vegetables that contain all the necessary nutrients. It is best to avoid precooked foods , as well as soft drinks and drinks rich in refined sugars.
  • Tobacco is one of the worst enemies of oral health. Therefore, it is advisable to stop smoking to avoid tooth decay.

Tooth decay in its early stages is a disease that is not serious. However, if left untreated and advanced, the consequences can be fatal, including the loss of the affected tooth . Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the symptoms and, at the slightest warning sign, go to the dentist.


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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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