Definition of Dental caries by shafers, sturdevant & WHO

Dental caries is one of the most common dental disease seen in individuals across the world. It occurs mostly in young childhood and late adult hood. The root cause of dental caries is poor oral hygiene but it can also happen due to other reasons as well. Caries is a term derived from Latin in which it means “to rot or decay”.

definition of dental caries by shafers

Definition of Dental Caries

Here is the definition of dental caries by different authors.

Definition of dental caries by Sturdevant

According to Sturdevant’s: Dental caries is an oral infectious microbiologic disease of the teeth that results in localized dissolution and destruction of calcified tissues

Definition of dental caries by Shafers

According to Shafer, Hine,Levy: Dental caries is a microbial disease of the calcified tissues of the teeth, characterized by demineralization of the inorganic portion and destruction of the organic substance of the tooth.

Definition of Dental Caries by WHO

According to WHO, Dental caries is defined as a localized post eruptive, pathological process of external origin, involving softening of hard tooth tissues, and proceeding into the formation of cavity.

Let’s also learn about the causes of dental caries.

As stated earlier, the most common cause of dental caries is poor oral hygiene. Apart from it, these are the other causes:

  • Sugary foods & drinks
  • Lack of nutrition
  • Lack of enamel
  • Acid reflux or GERD
  • Lack of hygiene
  • Lack of fluoride
  • Dry mouth (Xerostomia)

Etiology of Dental caries

The etiology can be divided into 2 parts:

  1. Primary factors
  2. Modifying factors

Primary factors

  1. Biofilm ( Dental plaque )
  2. Diet ( Sugary diets, low nutrition diet )
  3. Oral hygiene ( lack of brushing )
  4. Saliva ( Lack of saliva )
  5. Tooth habitat

Modifying factors

  1. Systemic Health
  2. Sex
  3. Heredity
  4. Race
  5. Occupation

Types of Dental caries

Based on clinical presentation, Dental caries can be of 3 types mainly:

  1. Smooth surface caries
  2. Pit & fissure caries
  3. Root caries

To prevent dental caries, One should go for regular dental checkups every six month, take care of oral hygiene & proper nutrition.

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