Think you know why you should brush, floss and visit the dentist on a regular basis? Think again. This quiz might not protect you from the cavity creeps, but at least you'll know why you're in pain when they invade.
Caries, another word for tooth decay, is caused by many factors including frequent snacking and drinking sugary beverages.
The signs of tooth decay depend on a variety of factors, including the extent of the decay and its location. A sore tongue is not one of them.
Did you ever wonder why your mother never fed you candy for dinner? Candy contains fermentable carbohydrates, which is a fancy name for sugar.
Run your tongue over your teeth after eating. Feel it. Welcome to Plaqueville. Population -- you.
Plaque is made up of a number of nasty things including bacteria, food particles and acid.
Once the enamel goes, the rest of your tooth -- the pulp and the root -- isn't far behind.
Dentin, the part of the tooth just under the enamel, is harder than bone, but porous.
Pulp contains blood vessels and nerves that nourish the dentin.
The symptoms of tooth decay vary, but once bacteria starts infecting the bone, expect an excruciating toothache.
When bacteria start damaging the bone of the tooth, the body sends out white blood cells, which fight the infection and generate pus.
Molars are most susceptible to tooth decay because they have grooves and pits, in which bacteria can hide. Furthermore, we use our molars to chew our food, making them prime breeding ground for plaque.
When bacteria consume sugar, acid is created. This acid destroys tooth enamel.
Bacteria can eat for hours in a child's mouth if they drink sugary beverages before bedtime.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teens and preteens are most at risk for tooth decay.
Receding gums makes teeth more vulnerable to tooth decay.
Saliva is a like a tsunami in your mouth; it washes away all the bad stuff, including bits of food and bacteria that can cause tooth decay.
Many eating disorders are characterized by vomiting stomach acid, which can destroy teeth.
Also known as restorations, fillings replace the decayed areas of a tooth. Fillings can be made from a variety of substances, including porcelain and various resins.
During a root canal, a dentist will replace the damaged pulp with a filling.
Dairy products, such as cheese, can help prevent tooth decay because products made from milk are a prime source of calcium.