BO VEISLAND, MI&I / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BO VEISLAND, MI&I / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Tooth decay bacteria. Artwork of tooth decay bacteria on the surface of a tooth. A mixture of bacteria, food particles and salivary mucus can form a coating (dental plaque) on a tooth's surface. As the bacteria digest food particles in the plaque they produce acids which dissolve the tooth's surface, leaving cavities known as dental caries (black). The bacteria can also cause gum inflammation (gum disease or gingivitis).
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