Tooth decay brings goose bumps even to the oldest and wisest of men in all races of the world. All people, rich and poor, young and old, are vulnerable to the banes of having a tooth decay (with the exception of those who have no teeth of course). And while the reason why teeth start to decay are quite complex and insidious the fact still remains that if an individual doesn’t take action to a decaying tooth it will cause a lot of discomfort soon.

Formation of tooth decay

Are Cavities Contagious?
Are Dental Cavities Contagious?

Tooth decay is the culmination of the deterioration of the enamel of the tooth due to the billions of bacteria which is in existence within the mouth of all of us. The results of these bacteria which produce acids are cavities and decaying of the teeth. In general, cavities start small and of course, if left ignored, it will expand into a large cavity which will get to the nerve and cause excruciating pain and eventually a dead tooth. The speed of which this process happens depends on many factors.

To make matters worse, sugary foods are readily available everywhere. Sugar and starchy food, as it happens, can create just the perfect habitat for these acid producing bacteria to multiply and easily rot the teeth. This is the main reason why there are a larger number of children today who suffer from this disease, tooth decay as compared to before. Looking into statistics, six out of 10 children ages 5 and below already have at least one cavity. This is attributed to the following reasons:

  1. The practice of parents of giving juice, formula or milk in a bottle to their babies- ( Click here for dental care for babies)
  2. Snacks rich in sugar are available anywhere.
  3. Poor oral hygiene habit

So what can people do to fight off tooth decay?

Preventing tooth decay is easy but requires dedication and discipline at any age. Here are a list of things you can do to lessen the acid producing bacteria in your mouth.

Good Oral Hygiene
Good Oral Health
  1. Brush at least 2 or 3 times everyday
  2. Floss your teeth everyday
  3. Use a toothpaste that has tartar-control
  4. Use fluoride mouthwash to rinse your mouth
  5. Xylitor gum is a good thing to chew to increase saliva. Saliva helps wash the bacteria out from the mouth.
  6. Avoid sugary foods as much as possible
  7. Regular visit with the dentist including professional cleaning every six months

The actions listed above need a little understanding but more action. Making them a habit each day will help a person keep his or her teeth healthy for a longer time.

Please call 323-771-7254 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

By Ladan Zinati


  1. James
    January 4, 2013

    I brush my teeth about 2 times a day, but after reading this article I’ll brush 3 times. I eat a lot of sugary foods, and I don’t want to take a risk of tooth decay.

  2. Stephannie
    January 4, 2013

    I always try to take good care of my teeth. I learned some great tips from reading your article, on how to take care of them even better.

  3. tayd
    January 4, 2013

    This is scary reading it from this perspective becuase it sounds irreversible. I thought I was exempt becasue I am young, but I need to develop a routine now in order to avoid future tooth decay!

  4. Amanda
    January 4, 2013

    I brush my teeth about three times a day and I have a fear of tooth decay. My dentist said that my teeth or perfectly fine and if I cut back on soda they will be even better, so that is what I am going to do.

  5. Rod Warrix
    January 4, 2013

    Yeah! I wished I had seen and took this advice three weeks ago. Back then I realized that few more of my teeth seem to have a black spot on them but I ignored it and now I am about to pay greatly for it. NOW I have a big cavity hole and tooth is cramping! I am also have lost this tooth for the rest of my life just because I thought it would go away! I have pictures of the hole now and it’s 10 x bigger than just three short weeks ago!! This article is great and I recommend anyone that suspects they have tooth decay going on the list and not ignore the problem and really help yourself out for the rest of your life! It can spread fast by surprise and leave you with nothing else to do about it!!! Well have a healthy and well day and again listen and don’t be afraid to hurt your own stubborn feelings and brush your teeth!

  6. Chris W.
    January 4, 2013

    I had a severe cavity last year and don’t want to have another one. I will take your tips for preventing tooth decay seriously and start flossing and using mouthwash daily.

  7. Megan
    January 5, 2013

    If snacks are extra sugary, should I brush my teeth right after or is 2-3 times a day adequate? I often snack on hard candies throughout the day and I sometimes bite them and they get all in my teeth. I know basic oral hygiene is important, but is it enough for someone who eats a lot of sugar?

    • admin
      January 6, 2013

      Megan, in your case, I really do suggest brushing right after, if at all possible. If not, then rinse and maybe chew sugarless gum. Hope that helped.

  8. Mel
    January 6, 2013

    I think it is completely irresponsible of parents to not be paying attention to their children’s oral care. Instead of parenting a lot of times they will take the easy way out by giving juice instead of water – and the kids are the ones that pay in the long run. also, for number 5 above, isn’t it ‘xylitol’, not ‘xylitor’?

    • admin
      January 6, 2013

      Hi Mel. Yes, I absolutely agree with your comment. Also you are right, it is xylitol- good eye, I will correct that, thanks

  9. Maria
    January 7, 2013

    I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of Xylitor gum. Gonna start avoiding sweets, and looking for “xylitor” on the labels at the grocery store. Thanks, Doc!

    • admin
      January 7, 2013

      You are welcome, Maria.

  10. amol chavan
    January 7, 2013

    daily i use toothbrush and paste but my teeth not white its shown yellow wht can i do?

    • admin
      January 7, 2013

      Amol, the color of you teeth won’t change with brushing. Brushing is mostly for removing food particles and plaque. If you want to whiten your teeth, the only way to do so is with teeth whitening procedures. I have a few articles on that if you are interested in reading them, just go back to the blog page, and let me know if you have any questions.

  11. Kayla Harris
    January 7, 2013

    I recommend using it after lunch because most people do not brush after lunch, at work or driving on the road. Therefore once a day is the usual dose. It is great for trips and travelers because it is so easy to use and convenient to carry around. The order is not as important as the use of the three products daily. I floss, brush and then rinse myself. Hope this helps give you so help in taking care of your dental health.

  12. mike frank
    January 27, 2013

    Great easy way to make your teeth look great after you eat lunch. Allot of people don’t realize how bad there teeth can look while there at work.

  13. Charlene
    January 28, 2013

    This article provided very useful information for me. I knew what tooth decay was, but didn’t know how it creates in the mouth and on the tooth. Many people also know what tooth decay is but don’t take the simple measures to take care of their teeth. I have never had a cavity and I am grateful for that. I floss and brush my teeth twice a day. I used to wear braces, so I was very disciplined into having to take good care of my teeth from my parents. I think it is really important that parents, as well as schools put more dental education to teach children at a young age that it is never too soon to start taking great care of their teeth.

    • admin
      January 30, 2013

      Charlene, I am glad to hear that your parents taught you that discipline early on. Yes, I definitely agree with you that both parents and schools need to put more time into educating kids at a young age the importance of good oral hygiene.

  14. Ana Beatriz
    January 29, 2013

    Good point about flossing — many people forget that. There are bacteria hiding in there too that need to be rid of!

  15. Jenifer Landowski
    February 14, 2013

    I think this article does a great job of explaining how to fight off tooth decay. Another way is to get plenty of fluoride in your system. This will keep your teeth strong for your entire lifetime. The fluoride has to pass through your body for it to work the best.

  16. Jason
    April 18, 2013

    Interesting Article. I had no idea that bacteria was the cause of cavities I thought otherwise. I’m glad I read this article. It helps to read interesting articles.

  17. Nancy Batiste
    May 15, 2013

    One way to avoid tooth decay is to maintain a good dental hygiene.

    • admin
      May 26, 2013

      Definitely. That is the best way.

  18. Masud Reza
    July 9, 2013

    I did enjoyed this article it is very helpful and encouraging, it did guide me.Thanks Doc.

  19. admin
    July 10, 2013

    Masud, you are very welcome and I am glad to be of help.

  20. How Can Seniors Keep Their Teeth for a Lifetime? | St. James Dental Group
    November 24, 2014

    […] bacteria in the mouth to produce cavity-forming acids. Saliva plays a major role in preventing tooth decay by rinsing away food particles and neutralizing harmful acids. Dry mouth often comes with old age, […]

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *