An ultrathin scanning fiber endoscope, originally developed for cancer diagnosis, was used in a case study to locate plaque and caries. The imaging system incorporated software mitigation of background auto-fluorescence (AF). In conventional fluorescence imaging, varying AF across a tooth surface can mask low-level porphyrin signals. Laser-induced auto-fluorescence signals of dental tissue excited using a 405-nm laser typically produce fluorescence over a wavelength range extending from 440-nm to 750-nm. Anaerobic bacterial metabolism produces various porphyrin species (eg. protoporphyrin IX) that are located in carious enamel, dentin, gingivitis sites, and plaque. In our case study, these porphyrin deposits remained as long as one day after prophylaxis. Imaging the tooth surface using 405-nm excitation and subtracting the natural AF enhances the image contrast of low-level porphyrin deposits, which would otherwise be masked by the high background AF. In a case study, healthy tissues as well as sites of early and advanced caries formations were scanned for visual and quantitative signs of red fluorescence associated with porphyrin species using a background mitigation algorithm. Initial findings show increasing amplitudes of red fluorescence as caries severity increases from early to late stages. Sites of plaque accumulation also displayed red fluorescence similar to that found in carious dental tissue. The use of real-time background mitigation of natural dental AF can enhance the detection of low porphyrin concentrations that are indicators of early stage caries formation.