Tooth decay is the softening of your tooth enamel and refers to the damage of the structure of the tooth caused by acids that are created when plaque bacteria break down sugar in your mouth. If this loss of mineral from the enamel is left untreated, a cavity, or hole in the tooth, can eventually occur. Without treatment, these holes can grow larger over time and may even destroy the whole tooth.
The plaque acids can also eat away at the next layer of the tooth (dentin) and eventually cause what is known as a root cavity. As a result, nerves in your teeth become exposed and you may feel pain when you eat or drink. If you feel pain near the root of your tooth, chances are you may have some form of tooth decay and should consult with a dental professional.
Taking good care of your teeth is an important part of maintaining your overall health and wellness, and that includes preventing the dreaded dental cavity. A dental cavity is one of the most common results of tooth decay and could be a sign of poor oral health and hygiene.