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 218 for tooth decay
  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 enamel. Tooth decay can lead to cavities (dental caries), which are ...
  2. 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 ...
  3. How to Prevent Tooth Decay in Your Baby (American Academy of Pediatrics)  
    Tooth Decay/Children ... Tooth Decay ... Child Dental Health/Prevention and Risk Factors ... Child Dental Health ... teething-tooth-care~The American Academy of Pediatrics ( ...
  4. Dental Caries (Tooth Decay) From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research)  
    Tooth Decay/Statistics and Research
  5. Tooth Decay From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research)  
    Tooth decay (dental caries) is damage to a tooth’s surface, or enamel. Learn about causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and ...
  6. Seal Out Tooth Decay From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research) - PDF  
    Sealants; Tooth Decay; Fluoride; Molars; Cavity; Toothpaste; Children; Insurance; Cavity; National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research; NIDCR; National Institutes ...
  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. Seal Out Tooth Decay: A Fact Sheet for Parents From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research) - PDF  
    Sealants; Tooth Decay; Fluoride; Molars; Cavity; Toothpaste; Children; Insurance; Cavity; National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research; NIDCR; National Institutes ...
  9. Tooth decay is a very common disorder. It most often occurs in children and young adults, but it can affect anyone. Tooth decay is a common cause of tooth loss in ...
  10. Take Care of Your Child's Teeth Easy-to-Read (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion)  
    ... take care of their children's teeth and prevent tooth decay (cavities).
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