Dentin carious lesion is a dynamic process that involves demineralization and collagen denaturation. Collagen type I is the major protein in dentin and it has been investigated based on its optical properties. Multiphoton microscopy (MPM) is a nonlinear imaging technique that reveals the caries process using the collagen two-photon excitation fluorescence (2PEF) and its second-harmonic generation (SHG). Combining the histological and the International Caries Detection and Assessment System (ICDAS) classifications with nonlinear optical spectroscopy (NLOS), 2PEF and SHG intensities of enamel and dentin were highly altered during the caries process. It has been proven that the ratio SHG/2PEF is a relevant indicator of the organic matrix denaturation [Terrer et al.: J Dent Res 2016; 96: 574–579]. In the present study, a series of measurable signals is made to detect early stages of carious lesion according to the ICDAS classification and to explore the relationship between these measures and the ICDAS scale. Comparison of the efficiency of nonlinear optical signals for caries detection with the ICDAS classification is essential to evaluate their potential for clinical application. In our study, the use of the NLOS measured by MPM allowed us to monitor a quantitative parameter (SHG/2PEF ratio) according to the dentin carious lesion state (ICDAS and histological examination). Three coherent new groups were defined (ICDAS 0/1; ICDAS 2/3; ICDAS 4/5/6), where the carious process can be clearly described with a statistically significant decrease of the SHG/2PEF ratio.