TOVERUD, GUTTORM : Norwegian Dental School, Oslo, Norway (July 1, 1938).


Caries is related mainly to growth. The typical localization indicates that the structure of enamel plays a role in initiation of caries, and that lodgment of food ( fermentable carbohydrates) and bacteria on a tooth surface is the direct cause of the ensuing decalcification of enamel. The structure of enamel is controlled, during the developmental period, chiefly by the mineral and vitamin contents and acid/base equilibrium of the diet, by the endocrine organs, and by the general health. Subnormal calcification of teeth may occur during fetal life and the first postnatal years.

Caries may be controlled by a systematic health-program covering all periods of growth—pregnancy, lactation, infancy, pre-school- and school-periods, and puberty—and including diet containing plenty of minerals and vitamins, a surplus of base, and a minimum of sugar and of sticky and fermentable carbohydrates. Acute development of caries stops when a child gets diabetes, and in treatment is given a constant balanced diet from which sugar and candy are excluded. In puberty and pregnancy, acute development of caries may be effectively controlled in most cases with a well balanced diet, containing minimum amounts of highly milled flour and sugar. In primitive communities having exceptionally low caries- frequencies, caries percentages rise after whole-grain bread (” flat bread “) has been replaced by bread from highly milled flour, and the sugar intake has been increased.

References: Nor. Tannlaeg. Tid., 1926 (suppl.), 1934, 1938; Acta Paediat. (suppl. II), 1931; Deut. Jugendzahnpf., 1937; Den. Mag. Oral Topics, 1938.

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