Pathological investigation of caries and occlusal pulpar exposure in donkey cheek teeth using computerised axial tomography with histological and ultrastructural examinations

Post-mortem examination of 16 donkey cheek teeth (CT) with caries (both peripheral and infundibular) and pulpar exposure were performed using computerised axial tomography (CAT), histology and scanning electron microscopy. CAT imaging was found to be useful to assess the presence and extent of caries and pulp exposure in individual donkey CT. Histology identified the loss of occlusal secondary dentine, and showed pulp necrosis in teeth with pulpar exposure. Viable pulp was present more apically in one exposed pulp horn, with its occlusal aspect sealed off from the exposed aspect of the pulp horn by a false pulp stone. Scanning electron microscopy showed the amelo-cemental junction to be a possible route of bacterial infection in infundibular cemental caries. The basic pathogenesis of dental caries in donkeys appears very similar to its description in other species.

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