Dental caries is a disease due to the alteration of the enamel and dentin of a tooth and leading to the formation of cavities.
Caries occur when carbohydrates (sugars and starches) contained in certain foods have remained on the teeth. The bacteria living in the mouth digest these foods and transform them into acids. The bacteria, acids, food debris and saliva combine to form the plaque which dissolves the enamel and dentin of a tooth forming the cavities.
The cavity formed by the caries grows with time and eventually invades the pulp itself. If, at this stage, no treatment is practised by the dentist, the caries will result in the destruction of the tooth and could lead to an infection of the underlying bone causing an abcess.