FACT SHEET: ABOUT DENTAL CARIES | From one of the Best Dental Doctors in Hyderabad
What is dental caries? (All the information provided after researching from the Best Dental Doctors in Hyderabad)
Dental caries is the technical term used by healthcare and dental professionals to describe
the disease more commonly known as tooth decay.
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Dental caries is the localised destruction of a susceptible tooth surface by the action over a
long time period of acidic by-products from the breakdown of sugars in a person’s diet.1-2
Research shows3-5 that dental caries occurs across a series of stages, or a ‘continuum’ of
disease. The three main stages – using the ICCMSTM system now advocated across Europe6-10
o Initial-stage: (ICDAS Codes 1 and 2) – characterised by the first clinically non-
cavitated visual changes in enamel seen by a dental professional on clean dry teeth –
and any equivalent lesions seen on dental x-ray films. These lesions can be
controlled and potentially reversed with changes to diet and personal dental hygiene
practices, supplemented by fluorides.
o Moderate-stage: (ICDAS Codes 3 and 4) – characterised clinically by either a localised
enamel breakdown (without clinical visual signs of dentinal involvement) or an
underlying dark shadow from dentine – and the equivalent lesions seen on dental x-
ray films. Some of these lesions can be controlled by more intensive preventive
treatments and homecare, whilst others may require tooth-preserving fillings.
o Extensive-stage: (ICDAS Codes 5 and 6) – characterised by a distinct cavity with
visible dentine or an extensive distinct cavity with visible dentin involving more than
half of the tooth surface – and the equivalent lesions seen on dental x-ray films.
These lesions are likely to require tooth-preserving fillings as well as preventive
control of the underlying disease causing factors.
Relentless progression through the stages of the continuum is NOT inevitable. The initial
stages of the disease can be stopped and may be reversible.