Tooth decay is the equivalent of an apple where one part is rotten. In the case of the tooth, plaque and bacteria touch the tooth surface and start to dissolve the tooth structure. Like termites eating apart a house. They delve deeper and deeper into the tooth until eventually they reach the nerve. It’s only once decay is close to the nerve will someone start to feel pain. By then it may be too late to save the tooth with a simple filling, or even save the tooth itself.
Tooth decay’s favourite breeding grounds are in the fissures (grooves) on top of the tooth, and also in-between the teeth where the toothbrush can’t clean. It’s impossible to see between the teeth, only x-rays can, so we recommend small x-rays of the back teeth every two years so that we can catch any nasties growing before it’s too late.