Also called: Cavities, Dental caries
You call it a cavity. Your dentist calls it tooth decay or dental caries. They’re all names for a hole in your tooth. The cause of tooth decay is plaque, a sticky substance in your mouth made up mostly of germs. Tooth decay starts in the outer layer, called the enamel. Without a filling, the decay can get deep into the tooth and its nerves and cause a toothache or abscess.
To help prevent cavities
Your teeth are made of a hard, bonelike material. Inside the tooth are nerves and blood vessels. You need your teeth for many activities you may take for granted. These include eating, speaking and even smiling. But tooth disorders are nothing to smile about. They include problems such as cavities (also known as tooth decay), infections, and injuries.
The most familiar symptom of a tooth problem is a toothache. Others include worn-down or loose teeth. It’s important that you see a dentist if you have any problems with your teeth. Fortunately, you can prevent many tooth disorders by taking care of your teeth and keeping them clean.