Tooth decay is a type of damage that leads to a cavity. Early detection of tooth decay is key to treating it. To understand tooth decay, it’s important to know about its stages of slow development. If you are concerned about tooth decay or worried if you have it, continue reading! This blog post will help you learn more about the stages of slow tooth decay.

What You Need to Know About the Stages of Tooth Decay

Habitual teeth grinding and clenching leads to tooth decay. Unseen food particles and bacteria leave marks on your teeth, which contribute to the development of cavities. If these habits are not dealt with, damage to tooth enamel increases and can lead to significant pain.

Here are the stages of tooth decay:

1 – The Start of Demineralization

With any type of decay, the first stage happens BEFORE any buildup of tartar or cavities. When you eat sugars, or sugary foods and drinks, they become stuck on your teeth. If these sugars are not removed, they will begin to cause a loss of mineral content or tooth decay.

2 – Enamel Decay

Once the enamel has started to demineralize, tooth decay has begun. As you may have guessed, this is where early cavities begin. In fact, most cavities start at the very tips of your teeth or at the neck of the tooth. This is why it is so important to floss regularly to prevent food and plaque from getting stuck in between your teeth.

3 – Decay of the Dentin

As the decay progresses deeper into the tooth, eventually, it will reach the pulp of the tooth. The pulp is the sensitive inner part of your tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels. It is protected by dentin, which is a type of hard tissue.

4 – Pulp Damage

If your tooth decay reaches the inner tooth, it will damage your tooth’s pulp. The pulp is sensitive, and if you have a lot of tooth decay, it may become inflamed. If the inflammation reaches a certain level of pain, you may need to see a dentist right away.

5 – Tooth Abscess

If your tooth decay is very bad, it can damage the nerves and blood vessels in the pulp. If this happens, an abscess will likely develop. An abscess is an infection that affects a blood vessel, and it can cause a lot of pain. It is a very serious condition, and treatment should be started as soon as possible.

What You Can Do

The sooner you catch and treat tooth decay, the better. If you have any of the symptoms listed above, don’t hesitate to seek help. If you have a new toothache or are concerned about tooth decay, schedule an appointment with your dentist right away.


Tooth decay is a common problem that can be treated easily. To prevent tooth decay, make sure you brush your teeth twice a day and floss every day.

Hopefully, you now know a little more about the stages of tooth decay. As you can see, the first and most dangerous stage of tooth decay happens before you notice any symptoms. It is important to try to prevent tooth decay by practicing good oral hygiene. If you are concerned about tooth decay, contact your dentist for an exam.

If you’re looking for a reliable family dentist, come to Oro Valley Dental Arts. Please don’t hesitate to let us know about any questions or concerns you have about your dental hygiene habits and how to improve them. Contact us and be a step closer to better dental health today!