Dental caries

  • Howard F. Jenkinson


The human oral cavity contains several types of epithelial surfaces and is the only site in the body that contains hard non-shedding natural surfaces (on teeth) for microbial colonization. Teeth are composed of four tissues: pulp, dentine, cementum and enamel. Dentine is the major component of the tooth: it supports the outer highly calcified enamel and protects the inner pulp, which contains nerve cells and blood supply. Cementum covers the roots of the tooth. Teeth possess a number of distinct surfaces that may be colonized by microorganisms. Pits and fissures on the biting (occlusal) surfaces frequently carry large populations of bacteria. Smooth surfaces are more exposed to environmental cleansing forces and tend to be colonized by a more limited number of bacteria. When recession of the gingival (gum) tissues occurs, as it does with natural aging, the cementum may become exposed and then colonized by microorganisms.


Dental Caries Dental Plaque Streptococcus Mutans Oral Streptococcus Streptococcal Species 
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  • Howard F. Jenkinson

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