Oral care

Rotten teeth: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Pictures

Rotten teeth are really a very embarrassing problem. Every person wants to have a beautiful smile. Having healthy and well-maintained teeth is absolutely essential to have a good smile and to avoid any problems like tooth decay and rotten teeth.

Our mouth contains many bacteria in it. When we consume a lot of sugary foods or maintain poor oral hygiene, these bacteria damage the teeth and lead to tooth decay. When this tooth decay is not corrected with treatments by well-trained dentists, it leads to rotten teeth.

Causes of rotting teeth or rotten teeth:

rotten teeth

There are many different causes of rotten teeth. Let us look at some of the most common causes of rotten teeth.

Poor oral hygiene:

We keep eating many foods throughout the day. If food particles accumulate in our mouth and between the teeth, it leads to the growth of bacteria and the formation of plaques. This ultimately results in the formation of rotten teeth.

We need to maintain proper oral hygiene to ward off the bacteria and prevent plaque formation. We need to brush at least two times a day with a proper brush which has bristles that are well shaped to reach all the corners of the mouth.

We also need to floss out teeth daily at night before going to bed. Flossing is more effective in removing the food particles that are stuck between the teeth in comparison to brushing. Also, try to wash your teeth with water every time you eat something very sweet or a sweet dish.

Not being healthy:

You need to have a good overall health to keep your immune system strong. If you have a strong immune system, you can easily fight any type of bacterial infection.

Bacteria are the main reason for the development of tooth decay and finally rotten teeth. So, having poor health can have implications in developing rotting teeth.

Dryness of mouth:

We need to have a good amount of saliva in our mouth to maintain a proper oral health. Saliva helps in flushing out any acids and bacteria that build up in the mouth. These acids and bacteria can lead to tooth decay and rotted teeth.

But, if your mouth is dry due to inadequate saliva production, then the acids and bacteria build up in your oral cavity leading to teeth rotting. Some people suffering from certain diseases like Sjogren’s syndrome have insufficient saliva production leading to dry mouth.

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Excessive sweet intake:

Eating more quantities or frequent consumption of sweets can be really detrimental to your teeth. These sugary substances create a conducive environment in the mouth for bacterial growth.

These bacteria damage our teeth and lead to the formation of rotten teeth. So, avoid eating sweets as much as possible. Don’ eat sweets in the evenings and nights. Also, rinse your mouth thoroughly after eating sweets every time.

Excessive acids:

Excessive acids in the mouth lead to erosion of the enamel of the teeth. They also damage the dentin layer of the teeth which lead to rotten teeth.

Increased acid in the mouth due to any cause can be really hazardous. Some people suffering from heartburn or GERD or Gastroesophageal reflux disease can have excess acid in the mouth leading to tooth erosion.

People who drink a lot of aerated drinks like Pepsi, Coca cola, etc are also more prone to develop teeth damage and rotting teeth.


Infection of the teeth is the main reason for tooth decay and rotten teeth. The main microbial infection causing rotting teeth are the bacterial infection.

The bacteria tend to grow more rapidly if you maintain poor oral hygiene, eat more sweets, drink less water, drink aerated drinks, etc. So, avoid any factor that leads to bacterial overgrowth in order to prevent rotting of teeth.

Symptoms of rotting teeth:

You have seen all the different causes of rotten teeth. Now, let us discuss some of the most common symptoms that you experience due to rotten teeth.

Blackening of teeth:

blackening of teeth

When a person develops cavities or caries, there will be the appearance of black spots on the teeth or over the teeth. You need to visit your dentists immediately to clean up caries and fill the teeth with some proper filling.

If you neglect the black tooth at this point of time, the tooth decay will spread to the entire teeth. Then this will make the entire tooth to appear black.

This means that the entire pulp, root, dentine of the teeth is damaged. You will need to undergo tooth extraction to prevent the spreading of the bacterial infection to other teeth and also into the body.


Bacteria can decay any part of the body or even teeth. Whenever any part of the body is rotten or decayed, there will the development of bad smell.

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If you develop bad smell or bad breath from the mouth it is called Halitosis. Bad breath or halitosis is one of the most common symptoms accompanying rotten teeth.

Teeth size alterations:

teeth size alterations

The change in shape and size of the teeth can be noticeable gradually as the bacteria keep on damaging your teeth. Bacteria damage the outermost layer of the tooth, the enamel and then the inner parts of the tooth called dentin and pulp.

At first, you will notice that there is thinning of the tooth and also a reduction in the size of the tooth. As the bacteria keep spreading to the dentine and pulp, your tooth might become very small and thin in size due to rotten teeth.

Falling of teeth:

falling of teeth

You need to have a proper support for the tooth to be strong and avoid it from falling. Dentine is the part of the tooth that provides proper support to it.

As the rotting of tooth continues to spread from enamel to dentine and pulp, there will be no structure or part of the tooth left to support it and strengthen it. This leads to the falling off of the rotten tooth.

Temperature sensitivity:

You need to have a protective covering of enamel on your teeth to prevent the feeling of sensitivity to cold and heat.
The rotten tooth eats away the enamel which leads to severe pain and sensitivity when exposed to foods with high-temperature variations like hot foods or cold foods and drinks.

Treatment of rotten teeth:

You have seen all the possible causes and symptoms of rotten teeth. Now, let us discuss some of the most common treatments available to cure rotten teeth.

Visit a dentist:

Sometimes you may not be able to identify if you have developed rotten teeth by yourself. You also might not be able to visualize the teeth which are present at the back of your mouth.

So, you need to take the help of a dentist to diagnose rotten teeth. Visit the dentist immediately if you see any black spots, thinning or size alterations in teeth, tooth pain, heat or cold sensitivity, etc.

Your dentist will clean up the tooth decay or caries and then do the appropriate treatment to prevent further tooth decay and rotting of teeth.

Fluoride treatment:

Fluoride is being added to many kinds of toothpaste as it helps in the prevention of dental caries. In addition to prevention of tooth decay, fluoride treatment also helps in correcting te initial stages of tooth decay.

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Fluoride helps in re-mineralization of the teeth enamel. It is the replenishing of the calcium and phosphorus that are lost from the teeth enamel due to teeth decay. This helps in prevention of further progression of rotten teeth or tooth decay.

Our regular toothpaste and mouthwashes also have fluoride in them. But, we need to have a higher concentration of fluoride to correct the rotten teeth.

Varnishes, gels, and foams that contain fluoride are available in the dentist office. You can visit your dentist to get fluoride treatment done to treat mild degree of rotten teeth.


If your tooth decay has progressed and it cannot be corrected by fluoride treatment, you will need to take the help of dental fillings to restore the normal size and shape of the teeth.

There are many different types of fillings available like amalgam or silver fillings, gold fillings, composite fillings and porcelain fillings. Your dentist will choose the most appropriate filling that will correct your tooth decay and rotten teeth.

Root canal treatment:

If the rotten teeth are really severe and have spread to the pulp and dentine deeply, you will need to take the help of root canal treatment.

In this treatment, the pulp which is damaged or decayed is removed completely. Then antibiotic strips are placed in it and the pulp is sealed with certain substances like gutta percha.

Then a crown or bridge is reconstructed on the rotting teeth to make it look structurally normal and also function properly again.


If root canal treatment is done to remove the infected pulp, then the crown is constructed to cover up the teeth and make it work and look normally. A crown can be made of porcelain, ceramic and many other materials.

Extraction of the teeth:

If your rotten teeth are extremely severe and the majority of the tooth structure is already lost or destroyed, root canal treatment might not be able to help you.

Your dentist might need to extract your teeth completely and then build a crown or bridge by connected the two teeth which are normal besides the extracted tooth.

You have seen all the causes, symptoms, and treatments of rotting teeth. Rotten teeth are really very troublesome and embarrassing problem. So, take proper care to avoid tooth decay. Visit your dentists at regular intervals to diagnose rotting teeth at the earliest possible time, so that you can treat it very easily.

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