TOOTH DECAY : Severe early childhood caries: an integral approach


Dental caries is the most common chronic disease in childhood, consisting in a severe problem for worldwide public health.

An important factor that must be considered is the fact that it can be prevented, controlled or even resolved.

In order to prevent it, it is necessary to know its etiology and the risk factors contributing to its development.

Control and reversion of such disease are possible if the diagnosis is established at the initial stage, which is characterized by the presence of white spots on tooth enamel without cavities.

When there are dental cavities, there is need of curative and preventive treatment with the purpose of changing the factors that led to the development of dental caries.

Disease progression can cause great damage to teeth, or even tooth loss, and it may result in local, systemic, psychological and social complications.

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Definition of early childhood caries

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) classifies early childhood caries as the presence of one or more decayed (noncavitated or cavitated lesions), missing (due to caries), or filled tooth surfaces in any primary tooth in a child 71 months of age or younger.

However, any sign of smooth surface caries, with or without cavity, in children younger than 3 years old, is considered severe early childhood caries (S-ECC).

This disease has rampant, acute and progressive characteristics.


°Jornal de Pediatria
°Severe early childhood caries: an integral approach
°Estela M. Losso / Maria Cristina R. Tavares / Juliana Y. B. da Silva / Cícero de A. Urban

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