Tooth decay (destruction of tooth structure) is the disease known as caries or cavities.
Tooth decay is a highly preventable disease caused by bacteria and other factors.
It can occur when foods containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches), such as milk, soda, raisins, candy, cake, fruit juices, cereals, and bread, are left on the teeth.
Bacteria that normally live in the mouth change these foods, producing acids.
The combination of bacteria, food, acid, and saliva form a substance called plaque that sticks to the teeth.
Over time, the acids produced by the bacteria eat away at the tooth enamel, causing cavities.
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