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What is Tooth Decay?

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Updated: November 14, 2007

Question: What is Tooth Decay?

Answer: Decay is the destruction of tooth structure. Decay occurs when plague, the sticky substance that forms on teeth, combines with the sugars and / or starches of the foods that we eat. This combination produces acids that attack tooth enamel. The best way to prevent tooth decay is by brushing twice a day and flossing daily.

If decay reaches the pulp of the tooth, a root canal may be necessary to save the tooth.

Eating healthy foods and avoiding snacks and drinks that are high in sugar are also ways to prevent decay.

Photo of Decay

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