Tooth Decay

What is tooth decay?

Tooth decay is damage to a tooth's surface, or enamel. It happens when bacteria in your mouth make acids that attack the enamel. Tooth decay can lead to cavities (dental caries), which are holes in your teeth. If tooth decay is not treated, it can cause pain, infection, and even tooth loss.

What causes tooth decay?

Our mouths are full of bacteria. Some bacteria are helpful. But some can be harmful, including the ones that play a role in tooth decay. These bacteria combine with food to form a soft, sticky film called plaque. The bacteria in plaque use the sugar and starch in what you eat and drink to make acids. The acids begin to eat away at the minerals on your enamel. Over time, the plaque can harden into tartar. Besides damaging your teeth, plaque and tartar can also irritate your gums and cause gum disease.

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Results 1 - 10 of 1,082 for cavities
  1. Tooth Decay (National Library of Medicine)  
    What is tooth decay? Tooth decay is damage to a tooth's surface, or enamel. It happens when bacteria in your mouth make acids that attack the ...
  2. Nasal Cancer (National Library of Medicine)  
    ... keeps your nose from drying out. The nasal cavity is the passageway just behind your nose. Air ... throat as you breathe. Cancer of the nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses is rare. You are at ...
  3. Tooth decay is a serious problem for some children. Decay in the upper and lower front teeth are ... sugar that sit in your child's mouth cause tooth decay. Milk, formula, and juice all have sugar in ...
  4. Dental cavities are holes (or structural damage) in the teeth. ... Tooth decay is a very common disorder. It most often occurs in children and young adults, but it ...
  5. Dental Caries (Tooth Decay) From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research)  
    Tooth Decay/Statistics and Research ... Tooth Decay ... National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research ... From the National Institutes of Health ... Lists resources, ...
  6. Child Dental Health (National Library of Medicine)  
    ... can do to promote healthy teeth and prevent cavities. For babies, you should clean teeth with a ...
  7. Cavities/Tooth Decay (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)  
    Tooth Decay/Start Here ... Tooth Decay ... Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
  8. Cavities (Merck & Co., Inc.)  
    Cavities - Learn about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis & treatment from the Merck Manuals - Medical Consumer Version. ... cavity,tooth,teeth,tooth decay,decayed ...
  9. Nasal Cancer/Start Here ... Nasal Cancer ... Paranasal sinus and nasal cavity cancer treatment options may include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. ...
  10. Oral Cancer/Specifics ... Oral Cancer ... Lip and oral cavity cancer treatment can include surgery, radiation therapy, or both, and depends on the site and extent ...
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