Dental cavity

Common Name(s)

Dental cavity, Tooth decay, Dental caries

Dental cavities, also known as dental caries or tooth decay, are damaged areas in the hard outer surface of your teeth. Cavities are one of the world’s most common health problems, and they are especially common in children, teenagers, and older adults. Without treatment, cavities get larger and can cause severe toothache, infection, and possibly tooth loss. Symptoms of cavities include toothache, tooth sensitivity, mild or sharp pain when eating or drinking, visible holes in the tooth, brown or black staining on any surface of tooth, and pain when biting.

The formation of cavities starts with plaque buildup. Plaque is a sticky film that coats the teeth and is produced by bacteria that feed on sugars from the food that you eat. As the bacteria feed, they produce acid, which damage the outside of the tooth (enamel). Once the enamel is worn away, the acid can attack the next layer (dentin), which is softer and weaker than enamel. If the acid gets past the dentin layer, it can reach the inner tooth (pulp), which usually causes severe toothache, sensitivity, and pain when biting. In some cases, the body can send white blood cells to fight off the bacteria in the inside of the tooth, which can cause a collection of pus (abscess).

Risk factors for a cavity include eating certain foods or drinks that cling to teeth for a long time, frequent snacking, bedtime feeding, inadequate brushing and flossing, young age, dry mouth, and eating disorders. A dentist can easily diagnose a cavity by asking about tooth pain and sensitivity, examining the mouth, probing teeth with small tools, and looking at x-rays of the teeth. Treatments for cavities include fillings, crowns, root canals, and tooth extractions. The earlier a cavity is caught, the more likely the tooth can be saved with minor repair (fillings). If you have symptoms of a cavity, talk to a dentist to discuss the treatment option that is best for you.

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Advocacy and Support Organizations

 

Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Dental cavity" for support, advocacy or research.

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Dental cavity" returned 12 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Comparison of paracetamol, ibuprofen, and diclofenac potassium for pain relief following dental extractions and deep cavity preparations.
 

Author(s): Giath Gazal, Khalid H Al-Samadani

Journal: Saudi Med J. 2017 Mar;38(3):284-291.

 

To compare the effectiveness of different oral analgesics for relieving pain and distress in adults following the extraction of teeth and deep cavity preparations under local anesthesia. Methods: This randomized controlled study was conducted between November 2015 and May 2016. One ...

Last Updated: 2 Mar 2017

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A Cavity Preparation Evaluation System in the Skill Assessment of Dental Students.
 

Author(s): Huiru Zou, Shufeng Jin, Jianping Sun, Yanmei Dai

Journal: J Dent Educ. 2016 Aug;80(8):930-7.

 

The aim of this study was to compare a computerized, laser-scanning Cavity Preparation Skill Evaluation System (CPSES) with conventional teachers' eye-hand grading assessment of dental students' Class I cavity preparation evaluations. Thirty-eight cavity preparations of lower left ...

Last Updated: 2 Aug 2016

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Secondary syphilis in the oral cavity and the role of the dental surgeon in STD prevention, diagnosis and treatment: a case series study.
 

Author(s): Creta Elisa Seibt, Maria Cristina Munerato

Journal: Braz J Infect Dis. ;20(4):393-8.

 

Syphilis is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. Syphilis has three clinical stages and may present various oral manifestations, mainly at the secondary stage. The disease mimics other more common oral mucosa lesions, going undiagnosed and with no proper ...

Last Updated: 19 Jul 2016

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Dental cavity" returned 1 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

[Dental plaque as a biofilm - a risk in oral cavity and methods to prevent].
 

Author(s): Renata Chałas, Ilona Wójcik-Chęcińska, Michał J Woźniak, Justyna Grzonka, Wojciech Święszkowski, Krzysztof J Kurzydłowski

Journal:

 

Bacteria living constantly in the oral cavity are in the form of a biofilm. The biofilm formed on a solid base such as the enamel of the teeth, fillings, restorations, orthodontic appliances or obturators is dental plaque. Disturbance of homeostasis of biofilm, excessive growth or ...

Last Updated: 13 Nov 2015

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Last Updated: 31 Jan 2017

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Effectiveness of Silver Diamine Fluoride in Arresting Dental Caries
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Dental Caries in Children

 

Last Updated: 24 Oct 2017

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Examining the Impact of School-based Dental Screening
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Dental Caries

 

Last Updated: 16 Nov 2017

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