ALAIN DEX, PUBLIPHOTO DIFFUSION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALAIN DEX, PUBLIPHOTO DIFFUSION / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Toothache. A woman suffering from toothache holds the side of her mouth in pain. Most cases of toothache are the result of tooth decay. Bacteria growing as plaque on teeth produce acid that causes tooth decay, slowly destroying the tooth. Toothache occurs when decay is so advanced that the bacteria infect the living "pulp" inside the tooth, causing pain. Treatment involves drilling out the area of decay and filling it with a tough "amalgam". Toothache is common in people with a sugar-rich diet that encourages rapid growth of the bacteria that cause decay.
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