DAVID SCHARF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID SCHARF / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Tooth plaque. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of dental plaque on a human tooth. Plaque is the main cause of tooth decay. It consists of saliva, bacteria and food debris. The bacteria feed on the sugars in food, producing acid as a waste product. This acid corrodes the enamel coating of each tooth, resulting in tooth decay (dental caries). Magnification: x1,850 at 6x7cm size.
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