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Tooth decay is damage that occurs when bacteria in the mouth make acids that eat away at the enamel of a tooth. This can cause a hole in the tooth called a cavity. If it isn't treated, tooth decay can cause infection, pain, and loss of the tooth.
Last Revised: January 4, 2013
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Steven K. Patterson, BS, DDS, MPH - Dentistry
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