- Dental cavities. Holes in the two outer layers of a tooth called the enamel and the dentin. The enamel is the outermost white hard surface and the dentin is the yellow layer just beneath enamel. Both layers serve to protect the inner living tooth tissue called the pulp, where blood vessels and nerves reside. Small cavities may not cause pain, and may be unnoticed by the patient. Larger cavities can collect food, and the inner pulp of the affected tooth can become irritated by bacterial toxins, foods that are cold, hot, sour, or sweetcausing toothache.
* * *1. Microbial destruction or necrosis of teeth. 2. Obsolete term for tuberculosis of bones or joints. [L. dry rot]- active c. microbial-induced lesions of teeth that are increasing in size.- arrested dental c. carious lesions that have become inactive and stopped progressing; they may exhibit changes in color and/or consistency.- compound c. 1. c. involving more than one surface of a tooth; 2. two or more carious lesions joined to form one cavity.- dental c. a localized, progressively destructive disease of the teeth which starts at the external surface (usually the enamel) with the apparent dissolution of the inorganic components by organic acids that are produced in immediate proximity to the tooth by the enzymatic action of masses of microorganisms (in the bacterial plaque) on carbohydrates; the initial demineralization is followed by an enzymatic destruction of the protein matrix with subsequent cavitation and direct bacterial invasion; in the dentin, demineralization of the walls of the tubules is followed by bacterial invasion and destruction of the organic matrix. SYN: saprodontia.- distal c. loss of structure on the tooth surface that is directed away from the median plane of the dental arch.- incipient c. beginning c. or decay.- nursing bottle c. c. and tooth enamel erosion that result from permitting infants and children to go to sleep while sucking intermittently from a bottle of formula, whole milk, or fruit juice. SYN: baby bottle syndrome.- pit c. a carious lesion, usually small, beginning in a pit on the labial, buccal, lingual, or occlusal surface of a tooth.- pit and fissure c. c. initiated in the areas where developmental pits and fissures are located on the tooth surface.- radiation c. c. of the cervical regions of the teeth, incisal edges, and cusp tips secondary to xerostomia induced by radiation therapy to the head and neck.- recurrent c. c. recurring in an area due to inadequate removal of the initial decay, usually beneath a restoration or new decay at a site where c. has previously occurred.- root c. c. of the root surface of a tooth, usually appearing as a broad shallow defect in the area of the cemento-enamel junction.- secondary c. c. of enamel beginning at the dento-enamel junction due to a rapid lateral spread of decay from the original decay.
* * *car·ies 'ka(ə)r-ēz, 'ke(ə)r- n, pl caries a progressive destruction of bone or tooth esp tooth decay
* * *n.• carious adj.
* * *car·ies (karґēz) (karґe-ēz) [L. â€œrottennessâ€] 1. the molecular decay or death of a bone, in which it becomes softened, discolored, and porous. It produces a chronic inflammation of the periosteum and surrounding tissues, and forms a cold abscess filled with a cheesy, fetid, puslike liquid, which generally burrows through the soft parts until it opens externally by a sinus or fistula. 2. dental c.
Medical dictionary. 2011.