SEM of decaying teeth

SEM of decaying teeth

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Credit: MANFRED KAGE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Tooth decay. Coloured scanning electron micrograph of decaying molar teeth. The enamel (top layer, white/blue) has broken down and decay has spread to the layer of dentine below (brown). Tooth decay is caused by the effect on the teeth of plaque - a sticky deposit of food particles, saliva and bacteria. The bacteria in plaque ferment sugars from the remains of food and produce acid as a by-product. The acid slowly dissolves the mineralised layers of enamel and dentine that protect the tooth, eventually penetrating to the living tissue in the core, which causes severe pain. Magnification: x46 at 5x7cm size.

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Keywords: caries, condition, decay, decayed, dental, dental caries, dentistry, disorder, enamel, healthcare, medical, medicine, molar, odontology, oral, sem, tooth, tooth decay

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