Introduction: Dental caries, commonly known as tooth decay or cavity, is among the most widespread oral diseases globally. It is one of the prime causative agents of oral discomfort and reason for patients to visit dental clinics or hospitals. If detected timely, the tooth can be restored and if left untreated it can eventually lead to tooth loss or other serious sequelae. Objective: This article draws attention to why dental caries is a global oral health concern and problems faced in India in managing this pandemic disease. It also attempts to suggest a few preventive strategies and future research directions needed to control this national oral health concern. Materials and methods: A narrative overview of the current literature is presented and a few suggestions on preventive and research strategies are highlighted. Results: Oral health that is an essential component of overall well-being is often neglected in India. Basic region-wise data in the form of well-controlled surveys regarding the prevalence of dental caries across India are also not available. This is needed to frame robust preventive strategies, policies, and manpower allocation, suitable for different subgroups of the population. Conclusion: State-level data should be collected to know the prevalence of this disease, identify the high-risk areas and customize region-wise preventive and treatment strategies. India has the maximum number of dental schools, efforts at individual levels are needed since everything cannot be left for the government to work upon.
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