|Description:||This 1952 image depicted the right submandibular region of a young Goroka, Papua New Guinea child, where it was noted that a draining sinus tract had erupted due to an abscess of an infected right lower molar tooth.|
Tooth decay (cavities) is a common problem for people of all ages. For children, untreated cavities can cause pain, dysfunction, school absences, difficulty concentrating, and poor-appearance problems that greatly affect a child’s quality of life, and ability to succeed. Children from lower-income families often do not receive timely treatment for tooth decay, and they are more likely to suffer from these problems.
Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection caused by bacteria that gets under the gum tissue and begins to destroy the gums and bone. Teeth become loose, chewing becomes difficult, and teeth may have to be extracted. Gum disease also may be connected to damage elsewhere in the body; recent studies link oral infections with diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and premature, low-weight births.