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Doctor insights on: Tooth Decay Vs Cavity

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How do I know if I have a tooth decay/cavity?

How do I know if I have a tooth decay/cavity?

See a dentist: For complete oral and dental examination, x-rays and treatment if needed. ...Read more

Tooth Decay (Definition)

Tooth decay is the destructive process that occurs when the acids and bacteria in the mouth demineralize and dissolve away portions of the tooth structure. This can be stopped with proper tooth care and mineralization products (like fluoride) that ...Read more


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If you have tooth decay do you also have cavities?

If you have tooth decay do you also have cavities?

Decay: Yes, they are the same thing just different names. ...Read more

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What's the difference between having tooth decay and a cavity?

What's the difference between having tooth decay and a cavity?

None really: A cavity or caries is just tooth decay that has penetrated the hard outer enamel layer of your tooth. ...Read more

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I've never had a cavity (or more properly, tooth decay). What should I do?

I've never had a cavity (or more properly, tooth decay). What should I do?

Prevention is key: Be sure to brush and floss daily and visit your dentist regularly. ...Read more

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I have like this blackness in my mollar and when ever I chew I get food in it an it hurts bad is it a cavity or tooth decay or what.?

I have like this blackness in my mollar and when ever I chew I get food in it an it hurts bad is it a cavity or tooth decay or what.?

It is both: A cavity and tooth decay. Best advise is to see a dentist as soon as possible for an exam, x-ray and appropriate treatment. Extent of decay and tooth loss will determine the treatment needed. Waiting will only lead to additional pain, possible sweiing and infection, and expense. Hope this helps. ...Read more

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Is there a difference between tooth decay and a cavity? Does tooth decay precede a cavity, or are they considered the same thing? .

Is there a difference between tooth decay and a cavity? Does tooth decay precede a cavity, or are they considered the same thing? .

Decat: Decay is the cause and cavity is the result. However they are considered the same thing. Think of fire the cause and end result ...Read more

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Can it be that a few major cavities and tooth decay cause exhaustion.?

Can it be that a few major cavities and tooth decay cause exhaustion.?

Infection: Cavities can cause infection which affects your entire system-see a good dentist as soon as you can. ...Read more

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How can I help prevent tooth decay from getting worse at present there is a very tiny cavity?

How can I help prevent tooth decay from getting worse at present there is a very tiny cavity?

Restore it now!: Cavities don't fix themselves and teeth don't heal without professional intervention! I would suggest you go to your dentist or find your dentist and get these cavities fixed while they are small. It will be simple, not complex, pain free and less expensive. Waiting will only create a more complex situation and now it will be easy & you'll probably be able to get "tooth colored" fillings! ...Read more

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One dentist says my child has 1 cavity and some staining and another dentist says she has 5 cavities that the staining is tooth decay what do I do?

One dentist says my child has 1 cavity and some staining and another dentist says she has 5 cavities that the staining is tooth decay what do I do?

1 Cavity: If you are going back to see the dentist every 6 months, I would go with the dentist that tells you you have 1 cavity. Tooth decay is gradual. Eventually the other 5 might need to be filled, but most likely they can wait for years if the dentist feels like they aren't deep enough to be filled. Just be sure to go back to the dentist every 6 months to have these softer spots checked. ...Read more

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Would I get tooth decay or cavities if I don't brush my teeth?

Would I get tooth decay or cavities if I don't brush my teeth?

Yes: And periodontal (gum) disease as well over time. I wonder what you breath smells like. ...Read more

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I had 2 cavity fillings, had a minor tooth decay. Now I'm seeing decay in another 2 teeth. Why is it happening so fast and at so small age.

I had 2 cavity fillings, had a minor tooth decay. Now I'm seeing decay in another 2 teeth. Why is it happening so fast and at so small age.

Rampant Decay: High sugar consumption in the form of simple sugars, poor oral hygiene and significant quantities of soda or sweetened beverages or citric acid are common causes of the disease. Good home care, limiting sugars in the diet, sweet sodas, adding fluoride and aggressive dental treatment is the secret of success. ...Read more

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Why do aboriginals have such great teeth, but Westerners get cavities and tooth decay? Many aboriginals don't even use toothpaste just water.

Why do aboriginals have such great teeth, but Westerners get cavities and tooth decay? Many aboriginals don't even use toothpaste just water.

Westerners use sugar: Archaeologists have shown thru the evaluation of Roman remains that they had pretty good dental health. Scientists have also shown that it was the introduction of processed sugar and related products that have created a dental decay epidemic in industrial countries. So the reason is soda, candy, chips, i.e. poor diet choices! ...Read more

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Do I really need to get my teeth cleaned every six months? I've read that there's not any proof it really helps me avoid cavities or tooth decay.

Do I really need to get my teeth cleaned every six months? I've read that there's not any proof it really helps me avoid cavities or tooth decay.

6mo standard minimum: The reasons for your recare (cleaning+exam frequency) are many: 1. Control gum disease (the "silent" tooth killer that is linked with heart disease, diabetes & a growing list of health problems); 2. Screen for oral cancers (there are about 30, 000 cases every year & about 1/3 are fatal often due to late detection); 3. Find cavities early (smaller cavities=simpler+less expensive treatment). ...Read more

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How do I stop tooth decay fast while I am trying to get into a dentist? A few of my teat have bad cavities & r lose it's embarrassing but I need hlp.

How do I stop tooth decay fast while I am trying to get into a dentist? A few of my teat have bad cavities & r lose it's embarrassing but I need hlp.

Prevention Only: You cannot reverse tooth decay, but you can prevent it with proper oral hygiene and visits to your dentist two times per year. ...Read more

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Can fertility treatments cause tooth decay? Cavities?

Can fertility treatments cause tooth decay? Cavities?

Bacteria and sugar: Decay is caused by bacteria which are naturally occurring in your mouth. When the bacteria are fed sugar, either simple like sweets or complex like bread or sugar, they produce acid which eats into the tooth. ...Read more

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Are there any reasons I could suddenly have problems with tooth decay? I'm 38, and had never had a cavity until last year. Since then, at every visit my dentist has found another one. I think I always take pretty good care of my teeth, and don't eat much

Are there any reasons I could suddenly have problems with tooth decay? I'm 38, and had never had a cavity until last year. Since then, at every visit my dentist has found another one. I think I always take pretty good care of my teeth, and don't eat much

There: There are quite a few reasons that may contribute to an increase in the number of cavities. You may first examine your diet. Besides foods that contain sugar, also consider foods and beverages that are highly acidic. These may also contribute to decay. Another reason may actually be related to your health. Are you taking any new medications? Many medications dry out your mouth and reduce salivary flow. Thus, indirectly increasing the incidence of cavities. You also may have just have deep grooves on the biting surface of your teeth that were prone to eventual cavities. ...Read more

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Does diluting juice help prevent baby bottle tooth decay? I understand that juice has sugar, and the sugar can cause cavities. I’ve read that diluting it with water makes it less likely your baby will get baby bottle tooth decay. I only give him juice a f

Does diluting juice help prevent baby bottle tooth decay? I understand that juice has sugar, and the sugar can cause cavities. I’ve read that diluting it with water makes it less likely your baby will get baby bottle tooth decay. I only give him juice a f

Replace don't dilute: The sugar will change the acid/base balance in his mouth while there & for about an hour after drinking the juice. The longer it's in his mouth, the more decay you will see. Consult with your dentist & pediatrician, and determine a way to give him food on intervals and something with no sugar (like water) the rest of the time. This can save you loads of time, $$ and pain. Good luck! ...Read more

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Is there anything I can do at home to stop tooth decay? I can feel what feels like a slight hole in the side of one of my teeth, which I think is a cavity. I don't have dental insurance, and really don't have the money to see a dentist. Is there anything

Is there anything I can do at home to stop tooth decay? I can feel what feels like a slight hole in the side of one of my teeth, which I think is a cavity. I don't have dental insurance, and really don't have the money to see a dentist. Is there anything

Free Clinic?: Cavities don't repair themselves and require dental professional attention! I understand your financial dilemma, so you may want to seek out a free or subsidized dental clinic or possibly a dental training facility, where you'd get the care you need at a reduced fee or even at no cost. ...Read more

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What happens if a dentist fills a cavity with some decay left on the tooth?

What happens if a dentist fills a cavity with some decay left on the tooth?

Needs to be redone: If there is decay present then the filling needs to be redone. The decay shoul be removed. ...Read more

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Is it possible that a tooth can have decay without a cavity?

Is it possible that a tooth can have decay without a cavity?

Decay = Cavity: They are one and the same. Decay is the professional term, cavity is the layman's term. ...Read more

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Is tooth decay hereditary?

Not really: No I don't think it is. But the bad habits that cause tooth decay are passed on through families. I have heard patients say that bad teeth run in their family, but I don't agree with that. If you brush 2-3 times a day, floss once a day, rinse once a day, see the dentist every 6 months, you will go a long way toward breaking this family tradition. ...Read more

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What are the main causes of tooth decay?

What are the main causes of tooth decay?

Bacteria and sugar: Decay germs eat sugar. They digest it and secrete acid. This acid disolves tooth structure and we call that decay.
So, don't eat the sugar and clean really well and the decay rate drops. ...Read more

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What are effects of tooth decay to our health?

What are effects of tooth decay to our health?

It's all connected:): This may seem obvious, but your mouth is connected to the rest of you. Research continues to point out how oral conditions affect the whole body & systemic conditions affect the mouth. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, many different cancers, and healthy birth outcomes are all tied to a healthy mouth. Oral infection (or lack thereof) affects you from head to toe. Floss & see your dentist ;-). ...Read more

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What are signs of tooth decay under my bracket?

What are signs of tooth decay under my bracket?

Color and texture: Initially, the tooth will appear chalky white, you may then note a yellow or orange color followed by Brown our black. ...Read more

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Is tooth decay gray and shiny?

Is tooth decay gray and shiny?

Maybe...: Decay comes in many colors and could be gray & shiny, or brown and not shiny. If you suspect you have decay, see your dentist and get it sorted out; small fillings are easier & less costly than waiting for the tooth to hurt or fail. ...Read more

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What is baby bottle tooth decay?

What is baby bottle tooth decay?

Baby Bottle Decay: The cardinal sign of baby bottle decay is rampant decay over the incisor area of a child's dentition. The reason why this is allow to happen is because nobody is watching. If parent are brushing and flossing their child's teeth every night and every morning, baby bottle caries would be non-existent. It is not like the dirty diaper that screams to be changed. A parent's daily watchful eye is needed. ...Read more

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Why do biofilms cause tooth decay?

Plaque: Biofilms usually refer to bacterial accumulation in water lines. Biofilms such as bacterial plaque on teeth will cause many problems. An accumulation of bad bacteria anywhere in your body is a bad thing. Strep mutans accumulating on your teeth allow them to secrete acids that degrade your tooth enamel and ultimately create decay. ...Read more

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How to prevent further tooth decay?

Good home care: Brush 2x daily with fluoridated tooth paste. Floss daily. Use Fluoride mouthwash nightly. Avoid acidly drinks like soda and gatorade. Avoid high carbohydrate snacks. Eat less processed foods and more natural fruits and vegetables. Visit dentist 2-4 x per year to clean area you ma be missing. ...Read more

Cavity (Definition)

Basically a cavity is a hole, or defect in the tooth structure. It is created by the demineralization and breakdown of tooth structure from the acid attack of ...Read more


Dr. Theodore Davantzis
696 Doctors shared insights

Caries (Definition)

A destructive process causing decalcification of the tooth enamel and leading to continued destruction of enamel and dentin, and ...Read more