1. <pathology> The molecular decay or death of a bone, in which it becomes softened, discoloured and porous.

It produces a chronic inflammation of the periosteum and surrounding tissues and forms a cold abscess filled with a cheesy, fetid, puslike liquid, which generally burrows through the soft parts until it opens externally by a sinus or fistula.

2. <dentistry> Another name for cavities due to tooth decay, dental caries.

This entry appears with permission from the Dictionary of Cell and Molecular Biology

(11 Mar 2008)