Dental Caries: Consequences

Dental caries is the most common chronic childhood disease and has many potentially severe consequences, including:

  • Pain
  • Impaired chewing and nutrition
  • Infection
  • Increased caries in permanent dentition
  • School/work absences
  • Poorer school performance: Students with dental pain are 3x more likely to have a low grade point average
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Extensive and expensive dental work which often must be completed under general anesthesia

Severe maxillary incisor caries with bilateral central abscesses

Child with all four maxillary incisors extracted due to severe caries

Molars restored with stainless steel crowns

Donald Greiner, DDS, MS
Joanna Douglass, BDS, DDS
Joanna Douglass, BDS, DDS


The Catalyst Institute. The Oral Health of Massachusetts' Children. January 2008
View site here (Accessed April 16, 2010).

Jackson SL et al. Impact of Poor Oral Health on Children's School Attendance and Performance. Am J Public Health. 2011;101(10):   1900-6.

Seirawan H, Faust S, Mulligan R.  The impact of oral health on the academic performance of disadvantaged children. Am J Public Health. 2012 102(9):1729-34.

Martins-Júnior PA, Vieira-Andrade RG, Corrêa-Faria P et al. Impact of early childhood caries on the oral health-related quality of life of preschool children and their parents. Caries Res. 2013;47(3):211-8.