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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 169 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. 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 ...
  4. Child Dental Health (National Library of Medicine)  
    Healthy teeth are important to your child's overall health. From the time your child is born, there are things you can do to promote healthy teeth and prevent ...
  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. Dental Caries (Tooth Decay) From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research)  
    Tooth Decay/Statistics and Research
  7. Baby bottle tooth decay is a dental condition characterized by massive decay of an infant's teeth, particularly the upper and lower incisors.
  8. How to Prevent Tooth Decay in Your Baby (American Academy of Pediatrics)  
    tooth decay~ teeth~ babies~ oral health~ baby bottle~ bacteria~ saliva~ infants~ sleep~ dental ... parents about the causes, signs, and symptoms of tooth decay in babies.
  9. Cavities/Tooth Decay (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)  
    Tooth Decay/Start Here ... Tooth Decay ... Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research
  10. Seal Out Tooth Decay From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research) - PDF  
    Tooth Decay/Patient Handouts ... Tooth Decay ... Child Dental Health/Patient Handouts ... Child Dental Health ... Tooth Decay/Children ... Tooth Decay ... Child Dental Health/Prevention ...
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