Tooth decay

Tooth decay

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Credit: STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Tooth decay. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of cavities (red) developing in a tooth. Cavities are caused by dental plaque, a film of bacteria embedded in a glycoprotein matrix. The matrix is formed from bacterial secretions and saliva. The bacteria feed on sugars in food, producing acid as a waste product. This acid corrodes the teeth's enamel coating, resulting in cavities.

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Keywords: caries, cavity, coloured, condition, decay, decaying, dental, dentistry, disorder, false-coloured, healthcare, hole, holes, images, magnified image, medical, medicine, microscopic subjects, odontology, oral, plaque, scanning electron micrograph, scanning electron microscope, sem, tooth

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