Dental cavities

Caries; Tooth decay; Cavities - tooth

Dental cavities are holes (or structural damage) in the teeth.

Tooth anatomy

The structure of the tooth includes dentin, pulp and other tissues, blood vessels and nerves imbedded in the bony jaw. Above the gum line, the tooth is protected by the hard enamel covering.

Gingivitis

Inflammation of the gums is called gingivitis. Bacteria in plaque around the teeth release enzymes (collagenases) that can damage and erode the gum tissues. The infected gums swell, bleed easily, recede, and loosen from the teeth. Tooth loss is caused more frequently by gum disease than tooth decay.

Baby bottle tooth decay

Baby bottle tooth decay is a dental condition characterized by massive decay of an infant's teeth, particularly the upper and lower incisors.

Causes

Symptoms

Exams and Tests

Treatment

Outlook (Prognosis)

Possible Complications

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Prevention