Signs, Symptoms, and Causes of Tooth Decay
– Appearance of a chalky white spot on the tooth surface
– Brown discoloration indicating demineralization
– Formation of a cavitation (cavity)
– Softening of affected areas of the tooth
– Exposed dentinal tubules leading to pain and sensitivity
– Presence of tooth surface (enamel or dentin)
– Caries-causing bacteria, such as Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus species
– Fermentable carbohydrates (sucrose, fructose, glucose)
– Time for the disease process to occur
– Sheltered environment promoting development of cariogenic biofilm

Bacteria and Complications of Tooth Decay
– Mutans streptococci, particularly Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sobrinus
– Lactobacilli
– Cariogenic bacteria present in dental plaque
– Shift in bacterial balance due to sugar intake or inadequate biofilm removal
– Role of Streptococcus mutans in biofilm formation and acid production
Inflammation of tissue around the tooth
Tooth loss
Infection or abscess formation
– Bad breath and foul tastes
– Spread of infection to surrounding soft tissues, leading to life-threatening complications

Prevalence, Prevention, and Socio-economic Factors of Tooth Decay
– Approximately 3.6 billion people (48% of the population) have dental caries in their permanent teeth
– Nearly all adults experience dental caries at some point
– Dental caries affect about 620 million people (9% of the population) in baby teeth
– More common in developed countries due to higher sugar consumption
– Prevention includes regular teeth cleaning, low-sugar diet, and fluoride use
– Poverty is a significant social determinant for oral health
– Dental caries are linked to lower socio-economic status
– Dental caries can be considered a disease of poverty
– Intrauterine and neonatal lead exposure promote tooth decay
– Exposure to certain ions, such as cadmium, may promote tooth decay

Factors Affecting Tooth Decay
– Dietary sugars: Bacteria in the mouth convert glucose, fructose, and sucrose into acids through fermentation.
– Exposure: The frequency of exposure to acidic environments affects the likelihood of caries development.
– Teeth: Certain diseases and disorders can increase the risk of cavities.
– Other factors: Reduced salivary flow rate, medications, medical conditions, radiation therapy, altered metabolism, tobacco use, and exposure to secondhand smoke increase the risk of caries.

Pathophysiology and Classification of Tooth Decay
– Pathophysiology: Microbe communities attach to tooth surface and create a biofilm, leading to acid production and demineralization.
– Enamel: Bacteria produce lactic acid, causing demineralization of enamel crystals.
– Dentin: Dentin reacts to the progression of dental caries, with odontoblasts producing dentin and defense mechanisms including sclerotic and tertiary dentin.
Cementum: Cemental caries increases in older adults with gingival recession and can result in tooth loss.
– Classification of Caries: G. V. Black Classification of Restorations categorizes caries by location, etiology, rate of progression, and affected hard tissues. Early Childhood Caries is a specific type affecting young children. Rate of progression can be acute, chronic, recurrent, incipient, or arrested. Caries can involve enamel, dentin, or cementum.

Tooth decay (Wikipedia)

Tooth decay, also known as cavities or caries, is the breakdown of teeth due to acids produced by 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.

Tooth decay
Other namesDental cavities, dental caries, cavities, caries
Destruction of a tooth by dental caries and disease
SymptomsPain, tooth loss, difficulty eating
ComplicationsInflammation around the tooth, tooth loss, infection or abscess formation
DurationLong term
CausesBacteria producing acid from food debris
Risk factorsDiet high in simple sugar, diabetes mellitus, Sjögren syndrome, medications that decrease saliva
PreventionLow-sugar diet, tooth brushing, fluoride, flossing
MedicationParacetamol (acetaminophen), ibuprofen
Frequency3.6 billion (2016)

The cause of cavities is acid from bacteria dissolving the hard tissues of the teeth (enamel, dentin and cementum). The acid is produced by the bacteria when they break down 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, Sjögren syndrome and some medications. Medications that decrease saliva production include antihistamines and antidepressants. Dental caries are also associated with poverty, poor cleaning of the mouth, and receding gums resulting in exposure of the roots of the teeth.

Prevention of dental caries includes regular cleaning of the teeth, a diet low in sugar, and small amounts of fluoride. Brushing one's teeth twice per day and flossing between the teeth once a day is recommended. Fluoride may be acquired from water, salt or toothpaste among other sources. Treating a mother's dental caries may decrease the risk in her children by decreasing the number of certain bacteria she may spread to them. Screening can result in earlier detection. Depending on the extent of destruction, various treatments can be used to restore 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 3.6 billion people (48% of the population) have dental caries in their permanent teeth as of 2016. 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".

Tooth decay (Wiktionary)



tooth decay (uncountable)

  1. (dentistry) Dental caries.


 Read More
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram