Can Decayed Teeth Cause Health Problems?

Can Decayed Teeth Cause Health Problems

Everyone wants to smile. So maintaining oral health is not only a necessity but a basic need. Since the mouth is an important part that allows entry to different bacteria and pathogens, oral health and hygiene are crucial. However, according to a CDC research report, 25.9% of adults aged 20-44 and 13.2% of children aged 5-19 are not taking treatments for dental caries. As a result, millions of people are suffering from tooth decay and other oral health problems. So, In this article, you will learn what health problems decayed teeth cause and how to stop such issues from growing and worsening the spread.

What is tooth decay?

Decayed tooth refers to damaged tooth either through cavities or abscesses that can lead to painful circumstances and even tooth loss. The damage can be either to the tooth surface or to the enamel- the latter is when the bacteria residing in the mouth release acid that eventually attacks your enamel. The decay can be caused by various habits or misuses, such as frequent snacking, drinking sugary beverages, or lack of dental cleanliness.

Cavities are permanent damages in the form of tiny holes on the hard surface of the tooth. When left untreated, these spread through deeper layers of your teeth, causing infection, toothache, and eventually tooth loss. Remember, tooth decay and cavities have no age bar. They can occur in children, infants, adults, teens, and senior adults too. 

What does cause tooth decay?

The common outcome of tooth decay is cavities. Any of the following reasons could cause your decay-

Health problems caused by tooth decay

Decayed teeth can cause the following health problems:

Since oral hygiene is an essential part of your overall health condition, you must not take it for granted. A tooth infection can even spread to your brain through the nerve endings and blood vessels, leading to a brain abscess. It can also spread to your sinuses, causing sinusitis infection. It spreads to the lungs, too, sometimes.

Below are some diseases and conditions that can occur due to decayed teeth and sickened oral health:

Other conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and Sjogren’s syndrome cause dry mouth, resulting in oral health disorders.

Some health conditions affect oral health conditions, too- Diabetes, HIV/AIDS, Osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, and certain types of cancer puts your gum and teeth at risk, thus, leading to periodontal bone and tooth loss.

See Also: How long do dental implants last?

How does tooth decay develop?

Plaque formation

Plaque refers to a white sticky residue on the surface of your tooth that eventually hardens under or above your gum line, turning into tartar which forms a shield for bacteria. Dental plaque is caused because of eating lots of sugar and starches. Lack of cleaning and washing those off creates plaque. Tartar is comparatively difficult to remove and stays as a hardened texture on your teeth.

Plaque attacks

Plaque growth leads to acid emission that initially attacks the enamel’s hard surface causing tiny holes. Once the enamel’s hard surface is damaged, the next layer, dentin, is attacked. It is comparatively softer and weaker than enamel that leads to sensitivity of your teeth. 


Further damage irritates the innermost tooth matter, the pulp that contains the nerve and blood vessels. The decay causes the pulp to swell up, putting pressure and strain on the nerves and vessels, causing pain and toothache. Such pain and discomfort can extend beyond your tooth root to your bones.

How to stop tooth decay from spreading?

Prevention is absolutely better than cure. In order to prevent the occurrence of decayed teeth, you should follow the below-mentioned routine on a daily basis.

Other preventive measures include:

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Among other things, you now know how important your oral health and hygiene are. Taking it lightly and treating it carelessly can lead to serious repercussions. Try keeping your mouth healthy and taking proper care of your teeth like a good long-term investment with a promising return throughout your life. A healthy mouth can lead to a healthy lifestyle.

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