Oral health conditions include a number of congenital or developmental anomalies, such as clefts and tumors. But the most common oral health problem is tooth decay, known medically as dental caries. Although dental caries is largely preventable, more than half of all adults above age 18 present early signs of this disease and, at some point in life, about three out of four adults will develop the disease. In older adults, tooth decay and periodontal disease are the leading causes of tooth loss. Tooth decay is also common among children as young as 5 years and remains the most common chronic disease of children aged 5 to 17 years. It is estimated that tooth decay is four times more prevalent than asthma in childhood. Poor ...

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