The word caries (med.), literally means the decay of bones, etc. XVII. — L., ‘rottenness, decay’, and specifically to the tooth, it is being referred to as dental caries.
Dental caries is defined as the localised destruction of susceptical dental hard tissues such as enamel, dentine, cementum by acidic by-products from bacterial fermentation of carbohydrates in the diet. It is a multifactorial disease which begins with microbiological shifts within the complex biofilm (dental plaque) and is affected by salivary flow and composition, exposure to fluoride, consumption of sugars, as well as hygienic practices (brushing and flossing of teeth).
In addition to factors which directly stimulate the formation of dental caries, there are many external personal factors that lead to the compromise in maintenance of oral health, which then causes the creation of dental caries. The personal factors include, sociodemographic status, financial status, dental insurance coverage, accessibility to information about dental caries, attitudes and behaviour towards oral health.