Learn the Different Steps of Tooth Decay

We’re taught from a young age that eating too many sweets and forgetting to see the dentist can lead to dental cavities, or tooth decay. These are indeed risk factors, but decay doesn’t happen all at once. Read on to learn about the different steps of tooth decay.


A small amount of tooth decay isn’t necessarily a full cavity just yet. The first stage includes white spots popping up on your teeth, which happens when bacteria interacts with sugars from your food. As bacteria metabolize the sugar, acids get started on demineralization. If you notice white spots on your teeth, make an appointment with your dentist and see if you caught the problem early enough to reverse it. Maintain your oral health by brushing and flossing your teeth, eating healthy, and seeing your dentist.

Decay of Enamel and Dentin

Demineralization of the tooth breaks down your enamel, and remineralization isn’t always enough to put it back together. Too much enamel decay could break your tooth, which warrants a call to the emergency dentist. After this step, your dentin begins to decay. The dentin is the softer part of your tooth, and it has less to protect it. You might notice more pain, and you’ll probably need a filling.

Pulp Damage and Abscess

The pulp is even deeper in the tooth than the dentin is, and it helps create the dentin. When bacteria make it through the tooth and infect your pulp, the pain may become constant. An abscess may form to increase the pain even more, potentially causing swelling and leading to tooth loss.

The best way to prevent tooth decay is to commit to dental hygiene and see your Tucson dentist before the problem gets too severe, so call Manela Dental at (520) 744-2039. Browse through our website and learn about how we can help you today.