Tooth decay, as the name implies, is a process that occurs in your mouth causing teeth to slowly decay, eventually creating cavities and dental caries. This process has several causes with the most common one being a combination of eating foods high in sugar, starches or carbohydrates and having poor oral hygiene practices.
The reason this combination is so detrimental to your teeth is that bacteria in your mouth, known as plaque, feeds off of sugars, starch and carbohydrates in your diet creating tooth decaying acids as a byproduct. These acids then use the plaques stickiness to latch on to your teeth and begin deteriorating them one layer at a time, starting with the tooth enamel. Having a poor oral hygiene practice makes matters worst because instead of thoroughly washing away these acids, they will eventually turn into a hard structure called tartar or calculus, giving them even more time to eat away at the tooth enamel.
In it’s early phases of attacking tooth enamel only, tooth decay can be reversed by simply making some changes to your daily habits. Some of these changes include eating foods with beneficial vitamins and minerals, reducing your intake of sugars, carbs and starches and developing a good oral hygiene routine. Once tooth decay progresses past the enamel layer into the dentin layer, however, visiting a dentist will be required to correct the problem, usually with a filling, crown, root canal or tooth extraction, depending on the severity of tooth decay.