Dental caries

Dr Daniel J Bell and Dr Henry Knipe et al.

Dental caries are cavities in teeth ('caries' is both the singular and plural form). They are very common and can lead to serious morbidity. 


Focal enamel and dentin demineralization result in cavity formation. There are multiple theories for their pathogenesis but contributing factors include a combination of a sugar-rich diet, anatomy, oral cavity microbiome, poor dental hygiene and time 1,2.

Dental caries are often categorized into 1:

  • occlusional: affect the chewing surface
  • approximal: occur between teeth


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Article information

rID: 52069
System: Head & Neck
Tag: refs
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Dental cavities
  • Dental cavity
  • Tooth decay
  • Dental decay
  • Carious teeth

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