Dental caries is an irreversible microbial disease of the calcified tissue of the teeth, characterized by demineralization of organic substance of the tooth,which often leads to cavitation

—Dental caries  is a multifactorial disease with interaction among three factors, the tooth, the microflora (bacteria present in mouth) and the  diet.

Venn Diagram illustrating role of tooth(host), Substrate (Diet) And Microflora (Bacteria present in mouth) in causing Dental Caries

Basically Cause of caries can be understood as:

  • Bacteria already present in mouth feeds on ferment-able or sugar rich food that we eat.
  • With The action of bacteria, that food is fermented into acids
  • This acid then over the time leads to erosion or wearing away of teeth.
  • This causes cavities.


Flow Chart to explain caries progression
Pictorial representation of carious progression

Stages of Caries/cavity progression:


  • In Early Stages there is absolutely no symptoms, you will just see some discoloration of chewing surface of your teeth.
  • Once the caries Reaches dentin, One will experience sensitivity to cold .
  • Once Caries progresses Deep into Dentin, One will start experiencing mild ocassional pain and extreme sensitivity.
  • In last stage, when it involves pulp, one will experience severe pain, specialy on lying down, and will also experience sensitivity to hot (which was previously absent)

Treatment of Dental Caries/Cavities:

  1. Stage I,II : Well sealed Restoration (Filling) after removing the decayed portion.
  2. Stage III (Deep dentin): Well Sealed restoration (filling) with a calcium hydroxide or MTA base beneath it.
  3. Stage IV (PULP): Endodontic treatment/Root Canal Treatment. 

How to Prevent Dental Caries/Cavities

  • Make sure to Brush twice a day.
  • Make sure to clean between the teeth with the help of floss once a day.
  • Rinse your Mouth after every meal.
  • Do not food that tends to stick to teeth.
  • Visit Your Dentist for a regular check up every 6 months.