About Dental Caries

The most prevalent dental infection in the U.S

Learn More about Caries (aka Cavities)

Types of Caries

Smooth Surface Cavity

Occurs on the flat exterior surface of the teeth. They are the slowest growing type of cavities to develop and the least common type of cavities.

Pit and Fissure Cavity

Occurs on the rear molars, on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. They are the most common type of cavities, especially among individuals who don’t have good oral care.

Root Cavity

Occurs on the surface of a tooth’s roots. It is most common among the elderly, who have gum disorders such as receding gums. Exposed root surfaces from receding gums are more susceptible to erosion from acid.

Healthy Tooth

Cavities develop over a period of time from untreated tooth decay

Plaque Formation

Dental plaque is caused by bacteria overgrowth when sugars and starches from food debris are deposited on the teeth. Dental plaque can become tartar (calculus) if not removed in time, which further promotes bacteria growth and becomes even more difficult to remove.

Tooth Erosion

If tooth erosion is left unattended, further expansion of bacteria and acid can reach the inner part of the tooth, the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. The pressure caused by bacteria overgrowth can cause discomfort and pain.

Tooth Decay

The acid generated from cariogenic bacteria in dental plaque removes minerals in the tooth’s hard, outer enamel which causes tiny holes in the enamel. If left untreated, bacteria proliferate and acid can reach the next layer of the teeth, the dentin, which is softer than enamel and less resistant to acid erosion.