Dental Caries

Dental Caries

Last Reviewed : 12/25/2020
Dental Caries

Dental caries, also known as tooth decay, cavities, or caries, is a breakdown of teeth due to activities of bacteria. The cavities may be a number of different colors from yellow to black. Symptoms may include pain and difficulty with eating. Complications may include inflammation of the tissue around the tooth, tooth loss, and infection or abscess formation.

The cause of caries is bacterial breakdown of the hard tissues of the teeth (enamel, dentin and cementum). This occurs due to acidmade from food debris or sugar on the tooth surface. Simple sugars in food are these bacteria's primary energy source and thus a diet high in simple sugar is a risk factor. If mineral breakdown is greater than build up from sources such as saliva, caries results. Risk factors include conditions that result in less saliva such as: diabetes mellitus, Sjogren's syndrome and some medications. Medications that decrease saliva production include antihistamines and antidepressants.[5] Caries is also associated with poverty, poor cleaning of the mouth, and receding gums resulting in exposure of the roots of the teeth.

Prevention includes: regular cleaning of the teeth, a diet low in sugar, and small amounts of fluoride. Brushing the teeth twice per day and flossing between the teeth once a day is recommended by many. Fluoride may be from water, salt or toothpaste among other sources. Treating a mother's dental caries may decrease the risk in her children by decreasing the numbers of certain bacteria. Screening can result in earlier detection. Depending on the extent of destruction, various treatments can be used torestore the tooth to proper function or the tooth may be removed. There is no known method to grow back large amounts of tooth. The availability of treatment is often poor in the developing world. Paracetamol (acetaminophen) or ibuprofen may be taken for pain.

Worldwide, approximately 2.43 billion people (36% of the population) have dental caries in their permanent teeth. The World Health Organization estimates that nearly all adults have dental caries at some point in time. In baby teeth it affects about 620 million people or 9% of the population. They have become more common in both children and adults in recent years. The disease is most common in the developed world due to greater simple sugar consumption and less common in the developing world. Caries is Latin for "rottenness".


We researched this topic for you and found the following best online resources. They are categorized into basic, advanced, and research level based on the extent of information you need. You will be taken to the respective websites by pressing on the links below.


Basic information: medline plus dental cavities colgate dental caries: how they are formed and what you can do to prevent them new york times tooth cavities national institute of dental and craniopharyngeal research tooth cavities cdc dental caries (tooth decay) mayoclinic tooth cavities web md dental health and cavities health line tooth cavities merck manuals(professional version) caries,p01848/ johnhopkins medical library tooth decay (caries or cavities) in children


Advanced information: medicine dental cavities (dental caries) medical news today stress in pregnancy may raise risk for dental caries in offspring must-know classifications of dental caries for the national dental hygiene boards by claire jeong, bs, ms, rdh, and delphine jeong, dmd boundless dental caries pocket dentistry dental caries: etiology, clinical characteristics, risk assessment, and management peadiatric clerckship dental caries oral health during pregnancy am fam physician. 2008 apr 15;77(8):1139-1144. the community guide preventing dental caries: school-based dental sealant delivery programs health service executive dental caries


Research: j. Appl. Oral sci. Vol.18 no.4 bauru july/aug. 2010 review ph-cycling models for in vitro evaluation of the efficacy of fluoridated dentifrices for caries control: strengths and limitations by marília afonso rabelo buzalaf et al.,

Chandra shekar br, nagarajappa r, suma s, thakur r. Herbal extracts in oral health care - a review of the current scenario and its future needs. Phcog rev [serial online] 2015 [cited 2016 sep 28];9:87-92. Available from: braz. Oral res. Vol.23 supl.1 são paulo june 2009 original articles cariology enamel remineralization: controlling the caries disease or treating early caries lesions? By jaime aparecido cury; livia maria andaló tenuta kauko k. Mäkinen, “sugar alcohols, caries incidence, and remineralization of caries lesions: a literature review,” international journal of dentistry, vol. 2010, article id 981072, 23 pages, 2010. Doi:10.1155/2010/981072 j. Appl. Oral sci. Vol.15 no.2 bauru mar./apr. 2007 review sugar-free chewing gum and dental caries – a systematic review by steffen mickenautsch et al., wang q, jia p, cuenco kt, feingold e, marazita ml, et al. (2013) multi-dimensional prioritization of dental caries candidate genes and its enriched dense network modules. Plos one 8(10): e76666. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0076666

Srivastava r, nongkynrih b, mathur vp, goswami a, gupta sk. High burden of dental caries in geriatric population of india: a systematic review. Indian j public health [serial online] 2012 [cited 2016 sep 28];56:129-32. Available from: rev. Bras. Epidemiol. Vol.17 supl.2 são paulo 2014 original articles social determinants of health and dental caries in brazil: a systematic review of the literature between 1999 and 2010 by antonio fernando boing et al., : suga usg, terada rss, ubaldini alm, fujimaki m, pascotto rc, et al. (2014) factors that drive dentists towards or away from dental caries preventive measures: systematic review and metasummary. Plos one 9(10): e107831. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0107831 prahlad gupta, nidhi gupta, atish prakash pawar, smita shrishail birajdar, amanpreet singh natt, and harkanwal preet singh, “role of sugar and sugar substitutes in dental caries: a review,” isrn dentistry, vol. 2013, article id 519421, 5 pages, 2013. Doi:10.1155/2013/519421 braz. Oral res. Vol.24 no.2 são paulo apr./june 2010 pediatric dentistry dental caries in the primary dentition of a colombian population according to the icdas criteria by alexandra saldarriaga cadavid


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