STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY STEVE GSCHMEISSNER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Tooth plaque. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of dental plaque. Plaque, the main cause of tooth decay, consists of saliva, bacteria and food debris. Both individual cocci (spherical bacteria, light brown) and filamentous bacterial colonies (darker brown) can be seen. Cocci bacteria like Streptococcus feed on the sugars in the food particles and produce acid as a waste product. This acid corrodes the enamel coating of each tooth, resulting in tooth decay (dental caries). Magnification unknown.
Model release not required. Property release not required.