Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is basically a hole in your tooth! To be specific, it is when bacteria inside dental plaque creates acid from carbs (glucose, sucrose, etc), that eventually weaken and dissolve your tooth. Dental plaque is an almost-invisible film of sticky bacteria that stays on your teeth after you eat. The main point of brushing your teeth every day is to remove this dental plaque, so that the bacteria inside it don’t get a chance to cause tooth decay!

Tooth decay can progress quickly, or slowly. If your diet is high in acidity and sugar, and you don’t brush your teeth too often, then tooth decay will progress quickly. If your diet is low in acidity and sugar, and you brush and floss twice daily, the risk of tooth decay is low.

When tooth decay has just started, it can often be reversed with good oral hygiene habits (brushing, flossing), as well as using products that contain fluoride. For patients with a high risk of decay, we often recommend using products with a higher concentration of fluoride or CPP-ACP. The most common example of this is Neutrafluor 5000 toothpaste.

The biting surface of a tooth is often one of the most common areas where tooth decay occurs, as dental plaque gets trapped inside the deep grooves of the tooth. This is very common in young patients, and hence why we often recommend these grooves to be sealed as a preventative measure.

Additionally, dental flossing is extremely important, and should be performed at least once a day. Tooth decay forms very commonly between the teeth, as food and plaque get stuck here for long periods of time, without being cleaned regularly. Brushing your teeth only accounts for approximately 70% of the areas that need to be cleaned, with the remaining 30% requiring some sort of flossing. There are a range of products that we recommend to assist with flossing, including floss string, piksters, interdental brushes, flossettes and water flosses.

Lastly, dental decay can occur on the root of your tooth. It is very important to always brush along the gumline using a soft or extra-soft manual brush, or a soft electric brush without pressing too hard. If you brush too hard along the gumline, it will cause your gums to recede over time and allow your teeth to be exposed to decay. Gum recession is also a common cause of sensitivity to cold and hot stimuli. We highly recommend that prevention of gum recession is the key, as repairing damaged gums or reversing gum recession is a very difficult process.
Tooth Decay
Tooth Decay
Tooth Decay

Interested in a dental checkup?

Then come and have a chat with one of our dentists

Contact us on 03 9457 2347, or email us at, and simply state you’d like a Dental Checkup, and we will handle the rest!

Why On Track Dental?

Competitive and affordable dental treatment


Competitive and affordable dental treatment for the


Make an appointment

More in General Dentistry

Call our front desk (03) 9457 2347 Monday to Friday 8.30am-5.30pm,
email us at
or fill in the form on our Contact Page

Call our front desk (03) 9457 2347 Monday to Friday 8.30am-5.30pm, email us at or fill in the form on our Contact Page
Scroll to Top