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Chapter 4: Caries
Introduction
Caries is an infectious transmissible disease resulting from tooth adherent bacteria that metabolize sugars to produce acid which ultimately demineralize tooth structure and, if left untreated, can progress to a
cavity.
Cavity: An area of decay in a tooth .

Dental caries is the most common chronic disease of childhood and diproportionately affects poor and minority populations.

Early Childhood Caries, or ECC, is the presence of 1 or more decayed, missing (due to caries), or filled tooth surfaces in any primary tooth in a child under the age of 6. (View Risk Factors for Early Childhood Caries.)

Sections

1.
Etiology and Pathophysiology
2.
Factors in Development
   
Bacteria
   
Sugar
   
Teeth
   
Saliva
3.
What is Early Childhood Caries?
4.
Presentation and Teeth Affected
5.
Diagnosis and Stages
6.
Impact and Effects on Health
7.
Risk Factors in Early Childhood Caries
8.
Prevention of Early Childhood Caries
9.
Key Points
10.
Self-Assessment Questions
 
Upon chapter completion, participants will be able to:
 
1.
Define Caries and Early Childhood Caries (ECC).
 
2.
Name the primary bacteria involved in the caries process.
 
3.
Discuss the contribution of carbohydrate metabolism in caries development.
 
4.
State the important protective benefits of saliva.
 
5.
List risk factors and describe the oral manifestations of ECC.
 
6.
Describe the 5 stages of ECC and identify early lesions on physical exam.
 
7.
Discuss the impact of ECC on overall health and well-being.
 
8.
Recall the 6 major methods of preventing ECC.
View the Chapter 4 Photo Gallery.