PHOTO INSOLITE REALITE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHOTO INSOLITE REALITE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Tooth decay. Coloured scanning electron micrograph of bacterial colonies (right, orange) invading dentine (blue). Dentine is the hard, calcified tissue that forms the bulk of a tooth. The tiny holes in the dentine are dentinal tubules. These contain fine cytoplasmic processes of living cells in the heart of the tooth. Tooth decay (caries) is caused by bacteria that live in the sticky deposits left on teeth by food and saliva. Acid produced by the bacteria as a waste product slowly dissolves the minerals in enamel and dentine, leading to the formation of a hole in the tooth. The process can be prevented by regular brushing and flossing. Magnification: x500 at 7x5cm size. Magnification x250 at 35cm size.
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