AskDefine | Define caries

Dictionary Definition

caries n : soft decayed area in a tooth; progressive decay can lead to the death of a tooth [syn: cavity, dental caries, tooth decay]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The progressive destruction of bone or tooth by decay


progressive destruction of bone or tooth by decay

Derived terms



  1. Form of Second-person singular present subjunctive, carier

Extensive Definition

Caries is a progressive destruction of any kind of bone structure, including the skull, ribs, teeth, and other bones. Caries can be caused by osteomyelitis, which is a bacterial disease. A disease which involves caries is mastoiditis, an inflammation of the mastoid process, in which the bone gets eroded.


Dental caries is one of many types of caries. Dental caries affects different parts of the teeth: enamel, dentin or cementum; in the crown or the root of the tooth. Nearly all contain bacteria such as streptococcus mutans and lactobacillus.
caries in Indonesian: Karies
caries in Japanese: カリエス

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

carrion, decay, decomposition, dry gangrene, dry rot, foulness, gangrene, gas gangrene, moist gangrene, mortification, necrosis, necrotic tissue, noma, putrefaction, putrescence, putridity, putridness, rancidity, rancidness, rankness, rot, rottenness, slough, sphacelation, sphacelus, spoilage, tooth decay
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