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Caries - Stages of development

Caries Development

The earliest macroscopic evidence of caries may be seen on an extracted tooth as a small opaque white region positioned on either one or both of the approximal surfaces. Similar opacities may also be seen supragingivally on facial or lingual surfaces; these will also be visible in the mouth if the tooth surface is clean and dry. The approxi-mal surface will show a small oval flattened area of interdental attrition, the contact point. The small carious lesion is seen as an opaque white region, usually positioned at the cervical margin of the interdental facet. This ‘white spot’ lesion contrasts with the translucency of adjacent sound enamel, and is best demonstrated when the specimen is dried thoroughly.

Dentin caries


Pulpitis is inflammation of dental pulp tissue. The pulp contains the blood vessels the nerves and connective tissue inside a tooth and provides the tooth's blood and nutrients. Pulpitis is mainly caused by bacteria infection which itself is a secondary development of caries (tooth decay).

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