Dental Caries

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Related to Dental decay: Tooth Cavity, Dental cavities

dental caries

[¦dent·əl ′kar·ēz]

Dental Caries


an affection of the solid tissues of the teeth manifested by their gradual destruction (enamel, dentin, cemen-tum) and the formation of cavities.

The causes of dental caries are varied and have not been completely determined. According to the chemical-parasitic theory, it results from the mineral part of the teeth being dissolved by acids formed in the mouth during the breakdown of the carbohydrates in food; the organic portion of the teeth is subsequently decomposed by microbes. Dental caries may also develop without the action of microbes as a result of metabolic disturbances in the dental tissues. Diet is an important factor in the origin of dental caries. Dental caries was induced experimentally by giving animals food containing a large quantity of sugar. In localities where the drinking water is low in fluorine, the incidence of dental caries is particularly high. The individual enzyme peculiarities of the body, diseases, a mother’s diet during pregnancy, improper artificial feeding of infants, and rickets also affect the incidence of dental caries.

Caries generally affects the teeth of the upper jaw, especially the fifth milk and first molar teech. The carious process is usually concentrated near natural depressions on the tooth surface and on the contiguous surfaces in the neck of a tooth (region next to the gum). The disease starts with the formation of a defect in the enamel or neck part of the cementum projecting freely into the mouth. On reaching the dentin, the process spreads wide and deep, forming a carious cavity. Once started, the process does not stop but gradually progresses. The enamel loses its luster and transparency at the site of dental caries, and pigmentation and roughness appear. When the integrity of the enamel is impaired, pain is felt on eating sweet, acid, salty, hot, or cold food. Dental caries is usually chronic. Acute dental caries is generally found in young people, and it is often due to a disturbance of internal secretion.

Treatment consists in restoration of the anatomical structure and function of the tooth by filling it. The procedure involves removal of the soft dentin and formation of a suitable cavity to hold the filling.

Prevention consists in taking action to increase tooth resistance to caries (providing the body with the essential salts, chiefly calcium and phosphorus, and vitamin D) during formation and mineralization of the teeth (from the fourth to fifth month of intrauterine development to age 11 years). After the teeth erupt prevention consists in proper diet and oral hygiene.


Rukovodstvo po terapevticheskoi stomatologii.Moscow, 1967.
Pilz, W., C. Plathner, and H. Taatz. Grundlagen der Kariologie undEndodontie. Leipzig, 1969.


References in periodicals archive ?
In different parts of the world, fluoride is added to drinking water to control dental caries, but studies have shown that topical application of fluoride on teeth in the form of toothpaste is responsible against dental decay [28, 29].
Oral Health status assessment included the presence of dental decay, periodontal diseases, oral hygiene status, malocclusion and fluorosis.
Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was conducted to determine whether rates of dental decay between health authorities were significantly different from one another.
Multiple logistic regression analysis was conducted using the available covariates to identify important predictors of outcomes such as adverse oral health perceptions, adverse periodontal disease perceptions, dental disease characteristics such as dental decay, and dental decay and periodontal disease.
Dental decay often starts with a dull ache that toddlers cannot distinguish from teething.
A significant number of school children are affected by dental decay, with disease levels being highest in deprived areas, and Committee Members found that a more consistent message needed to be provided about the importance of getting fluoride onto children's teeth as part of their daily tooth-care regime.
Both help reduce dental decay, although xylitol appears to offer more protection than sorbitol.
This represents a huge public dental health measure which has solid scientific documentation that community water fluoridation provides significant prevention of dental decay.
Summary: DUBAI -- More than 80 per cent of children in the UAE suffer from dental decay with a score of up to seven on the Decayed and Missed Filling Teeth (DMFT) Index, in which only one to two 2 is considered 'acceptable', according to Dr Khadija Al Suwaidi, specialist in Pediatric Dentistry at DentCare Centre International.
He has also worked with the World Health Organisation in The Gambia He said: "An important part of our practice concept is a prevention system that is applied consistently to prevent 90 per cent of dental decay and gum disease.
Dental decay is a major problem whenever self-care is difficult, so the have-a-lolly approaches are being hailed by some of the researchers as "simple, effective regimens that will encourage prevention and control of dental disease in nursing home residents and children.
Dental decay is a major problem whenever self care is difficult, so the have-a-lolly approaches are being hailed by some of the researchers as "simple, effective regimens that will encourage prevention and control of dental disease in nursing home residents and children.