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Article
January 24, 1885

DENTAL CARIES, AND ITS RELATIONS TO THE GERM THEORY OF DISEASE.

JAMA. 1885;IV(4):85-91. doi:10.1001/jama.1885.02390790001001

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Abstract

Read in the Section on Oral and Dental Surgery of American Medical Association, May, 1884.

Caries of the teeth has been defined as a molecular disintegration of the tooth substance; or a breaking down of the chemical constituents of the tooth, molecule by molecule. This destruction always has its beginning on the surface of the tooth, or in some pit, crevice, or other imperfection in the enamel. And it spreads from this point, as the focus, in every direction, the dentine being destroyed more rapidly than the enamel; hence it usually happens that the cavity is larger within than on the surface of the tooth. Caries does not seem to be a simple solution of the tooth's substance; sometimes we find nearly all of the material removed from the cavity, in other cases we find the dentine reduced to a pulpy, or semi-glutinous mass, in which the structure of the

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