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Know Your Teeth - Infobites - What Is Tooth Decay? -- Search By Keyword, Letter or Phrase - 1-877-2X-A-YEAR (1-877-292-9327)
Dental care and oral health information you need
from the Academy of General Dentistry

Sunday, March 18, 2018
Know Your Teeth Academy of General Dentistry Know Your Teeth


Quick Reference

Pregnancy and Oral Health

Good Oral Health Is Essential During Pregnancy


Despite the fact that good oral health is essential for the overall health of both mother and child, only 22 to 34 percent of women in the United States visit a dentist during pregnancy.

Learn what those dental words mean.

Check out how your teeth and mouth change in every stage of life.



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What Is Tooth Decay?


Tooth decay, also known as caries or cavities, is an oral disease that affects many people. Unlike other diseases, however, caries is not life-threatening and is highly preventable, though it affects most people to some degree during their lifetime.


Natural bacteria live in your mouth and form plaque. The plaque interacts with deposits left on your teeth from sugary and starchy foods and produces acids. These acids damage tooth enamel over time by dissolving, or demineralizing enamel, which weakens the teeth and leads to tooth decay.


Foods containing carbohydrates (starches and sugars), such as soda pop, candy, ice cream, milk, and cake, and even some fruits, vegetables, and juices, may contribute to tooth decay.


Reviewed: January 2012