Tooth decay can be painful condition that destroys your teeth, and if left untreated, can lead to further health complications.

In this article, we discover what tooth decay is and the associated risks, as well as explore using a prescription Fluoride toothpaste as a preventative measure.


Tooth decay, also known as dental caries, is caused by acid attacks which damage your teeth. This acid is created by bacteria from plaque on your teeth reacting to sugary foods and drinks you consume.

Plaque is a sticky film that forms over your tooth which contains saliva, food particles, and bacteria. Plaque is normally managed by brushing your teeth, but if you don’t clean your teeth properly or regularly, plaque can build up which increases the number of acid attacks that happen.

The early stages of tooth decay start with wearing down the enamel of your tooth, which is the strong outer layer. Then as tooth decay progresses, it creates cavities and slowly wears down the inner layers of the tooth, which eventually leads to infection.

The symptoms of tooth decay consist of:

  • Sensitive teeth when eating hot and cold foods
  • Black, brown or white coloured spots on your teeth
  • Toothache and pain


If a decaying tooth is left untreated it can lead to several complications, including:

  • Brittle teeth, that are more susceptible to breaking
  • An abscess in your tooth and pus formation
  • Infection
  • Tooth loss
  • Gingivitis, also known as gum disease


The more advanced your tooth decay is, the more invasive the treatment will be. Once cavities have formed in your tooth, you will need a filling and if the decay reaches the inner layers of your teeth, you may need a root canal procedure.

Although, if you are in the early stages of tooth decay (where your enamel is wearing down) you can use a high-Fluoride toothpaste such as Colgate Duraphat 5000ppm toothpaste.

Colgate Duraphat is a prescription Fluoride toothpaste that contains 4x the amount of Fluoride than standard toothpaste. It is used as a preventative measure for people at high risk of tooth decay. Find out more in our blog: Why is a prescription required for high Fluoride toothpaste?

Brushing your teeth three times a day after meals will help to reduce the build-up of plaque and stop cavities from occurring.

You can be at high risk of tooth decay if you have:

  • Bad oral hygiene
  • Diabetes or a high-sugar diet
  • Braces
  • Had cavities in the past
  • Dry mouth

This is a prescription Fluoride toothpaste and can’t be brought over the counter, it can only be prescribed by dentists and certain pharmacists such as those at PostMyMeds.


Standard adult toothpaste contains around 1300-1500ppm of Fluoride, while children’s toothpaste contains around 1000ppm[1]. Colgate Duraphat toothpaste contains 5000ppm of Fluoride and is coincidentally not suitable for children under 16.

Due to the higher concentration of Fluoride, you should use this in place of your regular toothpaste and not use other fluoride treatments. It is also suggested that you avoid water, salt and chewing gum containing Fluoride as studies show that consuming too much Fluoride can lead to health complications.

You can find out more here: Everything you need to know about Duraphat Toothpaste.


You can buy Colgate Duraphat 5000ppm toothpaste from PostMyMeds in three easy steps:

  1. Start a consultation
  2. Answer a quick questionnaire
  3. Purchase the product

It’s that simple!

Buy Colgate Duraphat Toothpaste with prices starting from £14.49>

Although all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it should not be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please speak to your doctor.

Authored Jun 22, 2022 by Joseph Issac, MPharm
Reviewed Jun 23, 2022 by Prabjeet Saundh,