What is dental decay?
Dental decay happens when the enamel and dentine of a tooth become softened by acid attack after you have eaten or drunk anything containing sugars. Over time, the acid makes a cavity (hole) in the tooth. ‘Dental decay' is the same as tooth decay and is also known as ‘dental caries'.
Decay damages your teeth and may lead to the tooth needing to be filled or even taken out.
Once the cavity has reached the dentine your tooth may become sensitive, particularly when you have sweet foods and drinks, and acidic or hot foods.As the decay gets near the dental pulp you may suffer from toothache As the decay gets closer to the dental pulp the pain may last longer and you may need to take painkillers - paracetamol or ibuprofen - to control the pain. You must visit your dental team straight away as the tooth is dying, and you may develop a dental abscess if it is not treated.