Tooth plaque (Fourth of four images). Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of plaque on the surface of a tooth. Plaque, the main cause of tooth decay, is seen as a yellow coating over the grey enamel of the tooth. Plaque is a sticky substance made of food remains and the bacteria that naturally occur in the mouth (such a Streptococci). Bacteria feed on the sugars in the food particles and produce acid as a waste product. This acid corrodes the enamel coating of each tooth, forming cavities and exposing the pain receptors in the tooth's sensitive interior. Magnification: x17,000 at 6x6cm size. M782/118, M782/119, M782/120).
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