Caries (Tooth Decay)

What is Caries (Tooth Decay)?

Tooth decay is a disease process caused by bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria produce acid; if left undisturbed, the acid will damage your tooth. This may lead to a small hole in your tooth (a cavity), and if left untreated, it could cause pain, infection, and eventual tooth loss. All people can get tooth decay. Typically, children and older adults have the most significant tooth decay.


What are the symptoms or indications?

  • In its early forms, there are usually few, if any, symptoms of tooth decay.
  • As the disease progresses, there may be sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods.
  • In the case of severe caries (tooth decay), there may be pain, swelling, pus drainage, and/or fever.


Where can I learn more?

For additional information, please visit the following websites:

Tooth Decay

Contact Us

If you are concerned that you may have caries (tooth decay), please schedule an appointment for a free screening exam at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine at (303) 724-6900.

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