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South African Dental Journal

On-line version ISSN 0375-1562
Print version ISSN 0011-8516


BHAYAT, A  and  MADIBA, TK. Is dental caries contagious?. S. Afr. dent. j. [online]. 2017, vol.72, n.7, pp.302-304. ISSN 0375-1562.

Dental caries is one of the most common childhood diseases, affecting up to 80% of all individuals at some stage of their lives. It is a debilitating and painful condition which impacts on mastication, speech, aesthetics and psychosocial behaviour. The prevalence of caries in South African children is around 40% and almost half of this burden goes untreated. The end results are pain, swelling and abscess formation, all of which have negative effects on aspects of the lives of the patients. Although dental caries is preventable, the prevalence continues to remain relatively high. This paper discusses the spread of caries and some of the methods by which it can be reduced and/or prevented.

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