Caries of the enamel; a histopathological study of caries of the human enamel operating beneath apparently sound and intact enamel surfaces
Frisbie, H.E.; Nuckolls, J.
Journal of Dental Research 26(3): 181-202
ISSN/ISBN: 0022-0345 PMID: 20257143 DOI: 10.1177/00220345470260030201
Previous work on the establishment of the existence of a complete organic matrix within enamel is reviewed. In this investigation the progress of caries in human tooth enamel was studied from the earliest stages to the final formation of a cavity, and the modes of penetration by micro-organisms are described. A slowly progressive type of caries characterized macroscopically by brown staining of the intact enamel was also studied. Observations showed that the carious process may be initiated and may progress under apparently intact enamel, and it is concluded that this supports the hypothesis that caries is fundamentally " a degradation of the organic matrix of the enamel resulting from the enzymatic action of micro-organisms " rather than a simple decalcification with removal of inorganic salts. The technique of preparation and staining of specimens is described and the pathological histology fully illustrated by photomicrographs.