Dental Caries

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dental caries

[¦dent·əl ′kar·ēz]
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Dental Caries


an affection of the solid tissues of the teeth manifested by their gradual destruction (enamel, dentin, cemen-tum) and the formation of cavities.

The causes of dental caries are varied and have not been completely determined. According to the chemical-parasitic theory, it results from the mineral part of the teeth being dissolved by acids formed in the mouth during the breakdown of the carbohydrates in food; the organic portion of the teeth is subsequently decomposed by microbes. Dental caries may also develop without the action of microbes as a result of metabolic disturbances in the dental tissues. Diet is an important factor in the origin of dental caries. Dental caries was induced experimentally by giving animals food containing a large quantity of sugar. In localities where the drinking water is low in fluorine, the incidence of dental caries is particularly high. The individual enzyme peculiarities of the body, diseases, a mother’s diet during pregnancy, improper artificial feeding of infants, and rickets also affect the incidence of dental caries.

Caries generally affects the teeth of the upper jaw, especially the fifth milk and first molar teech. The carious process is usually concentrated near natural depressions on the tooth surface and on the contiguous surfaces in the neck of a tooth (region next to the gum). The disease starts with the formation of a defect in the enamel or neck part of the cementum projecting freely into the mouth. On reaching the dentin, the process spreads wide and deep, forming a carious cavity. Once started, the process does not stop but gradually progresses. The enamel loses its luster and transparency at the site of dental caries, and pigmentation and roughness appear. When the integrity of the enamel is impaired, pain is felt on eating sweet, acid, salty, hot, or cold food. Dental caries is usually chronic. Acute dental caries is generally found in young people, and it is often due to a disturbance of internal secretion.

Treatment consists in restoration of the anatomical structure and function of the tooth by filling it. The procedure involves removal of the soft dentin and formation of a suitable cavity to hold the filling.

Prevention consists in taking action to increase tooth resistance to caries (providing the body with the essential salts, chiefly calcium and phosphorus, and vitamin D) during formation and mineralization of the teeth (from the fourth to fifth month of intrauterine development to age 11 years). After the teeth erupt prevention consists in proper diet and oral hygiene.


Rukovodstvo po terapevticheskoi stomatologii.Moscow, 1967.
Pilz, W., C. Plathner, and H. Taatz. Grundlagen der Kariologie undEndodontie. Leipzig, 1969.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The prevalence of root caries lesions was reported by various studies as ranging from 36% to 67% (6,7,8,9,10) Hellyer (1990) reported the prevalence of 88.
In vitro ability of a laser fluorescence device in quantifying approximal caries lesions in primary molars.
In summarizing the contribution of the ART approach to oral health since its conception, it is pleasing to write that the ART approach has been shown to be very effective in preventing caries lesion development and in stopping its progression.
(3,6,7) Contact points hamper direct visual inspection of caries lesions in the primary molars; therefore, radiographs and fluorescence methods have been employed to assist dentists in detecting proximal caries lesions more sensibly.
It is clear from the above considerations that F must continuously enter caries lesions to combat the effects of dissolution by plaque acid.
(9) demonstrated good performance in preventing new caries lesions in clinical trials using 550 ppm F and 500 ppm F toothpaste, respectively.
CAST index was designed for use in International epidemiological surveys and permits registration of sound teeth, sealants, restorations, enamel and dentine caries lesions, advanced stages of caries lesions into the pulp and tooth-surrounding tissues and teeth lost due to dental caries.
Caries lesions have two distinct substrates with different chemical composition and morphological structures: caries-infected and caries-affected dentin (2,3).
The number 1.8 next to it indicates a deep caries lesion in the tooth enamel.
Electrical Resistance Effective for early pit and measurement fissure caries It can also monitor the progress of caries Qualitative laser Detecting incipient caries fluorescence Monitor enamel erosion Convenient and fast Phosphor imaging system Low radiation Instant imaging Image manipulation facilities Optic coherence High depth and transverse tomography resolution Non invasive operation Contact free Diagnodent Good reproducibility Computerized image Quantification of smaller analysis lessons is possible Digital radiography Large amount of information Xeroradiography Two times more sensitive Methods Demerits Digital imaging Not measure the depth of the fieber optic caries lesion. transillumination Wavelength dependent Measures only in terms of wavelength.