Also called cavities and caries, tooth decay is a painful condition in which the teeth’ hard surface has permanently damaged areas, which are developed into tiny holes. It is one of the most common oral health problems, particularly among children and teenagers. In addition, older adults are also at the risk of getting it.

It is important to treat cavities in teeth as soon as they are detected. Leaving them untreated makes them larger. Thus, their impact goes beyond the outer surface of teeth. Not getting tooth decay treatment at the right time can also result in tooth loss.

Signs of Tooth Decay:

Some of the most common tooth decay symptoms include:

  • Severe toothache
  • Teeth sensitivity
  • Facial swelling
  • Visible openings/pits in your teeth
  • Mild or sharp pain at the time of drinking or eating that’s hold, cold, or sweet
  • Pain while biting
  • Visible stains (white, black, or brown) on the teeth’s surface

It is important to know that not all of these signs may not be apparent. In fact, you may not have any sign of tooth decay during the initial stage. Furthermore, they vary depending on the location and tooth decay stages. You must get the best dental care in Yakima when you observe these symptoms.

What Causes Dental Decay?

There can be many causes of tooth decay. Among them, plaque happens to be the most common one. Let’s take a look at how it impacts our teeth:



Plaque formation occurs due to eating a lot of starches and sugary food. Furthermore, poor oral hygiene also contributes to the formation of this clear and sticky film on our teeth.

Sugary food and starches, when not cleaned off properly, become the food for bacteria, which are responsible for plaque formation. When plaque stays on our teeth for long, it hardens the gum line and converts it into tartar. The presence of tartar further makes plaque more difficult to get rid of. In fact, it becomes a sort of shield for bacteria.


Plaque contains acids that strip off the teeth’ enamel from vital minerals. This causes enamel to develop tiny openings, which is the first stage of tooth decay.

The acid and bacteria, through these holes, make their way to the next inner layer, called dentin. It features tiny tubes, which are responsible for directly communicating with the teeth’s nerves. This layer is comparatively softer and; therefore, less resistant.

Reaching the Next Layer

Next, the bacteria and acid reach the pulp, which is the inner teeth material. It is made up of blood vessels and nerves.

When bacteria and acid reach this layer, it becomes irritated and swollen. Now, there’s no space on the inside of the teeth to accommodate the swelling. Therefore, it presses the nerve, which results in severe pain.

How to Treat Tooth Decay?

The treatment of tooth decay varies depending on the severity of the situation and the extent of damage caused. Your doctor at the tooth decay removal services will examine your teeth and formulate a treatment plan, which may include fluoride treatments, fillings, root canal, or tooth extraction.