Dental caries affects about two billion people worldwide.11 It is more prevalent in Latin America and the Middle East, and its prevalence is lowest in China.11,12 It is multifactorial, involving a combination of environmental and biological factors.13 Oral bacteria found in dental plaque release different enzymes (e.g., aminopeptidases, dipeptidyl peptidases, elastase etc.), which results in demineralization of susceptible dental hard tissues.11-15
The initial stage of dental caries is asymptomatic. Advanced states are associated with symptoms of pulpitis. Caries may be detected visually, radiographically or in combination with other adjunctive methods such as quantitative light-induced fluorescence, laser fluorescence detection techniques, alternating current impedance spectroscopy, and computer-aided imaging. Furthermore, point-of-care salivary diagnostics can be used for caries-risk assessment.16
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