Tooth decay is initially pain free and appears as white spots and specs on the enamel layer of the teeth. If untreated, over time, these spots can darken in colour as the bacteria continues to wear away the tooth. Eventually the enamel is so weak that it breaks away and it becomes a cavity. The bacteria will then infect the internal layer of your tooth – the dentin – and suddenly the tooth becomes painful.
Sometimes there is only occasional pain and you may end up ignoring the sensitivity. This is a very bad idea, as the acid produced by the bacteria will continue to infiltrate deeper into your tooth and eventually reach the root canal – where the tooth’s nerve and blood vessels are located.
Suddenly what started with a treatable white spot becomes a much bigger problem and you may even lose the tooth.
The best way to prevent tooth decay is through brushing, with a good quality flouride toothpaste and flossing regularly. A healthy low sugar and low acid diet can also make a big difference.