Decalcification, dental

The Decalcification, dental - The dissolving of minerals in a tooth. Dental decalcification is the first stage of tooth decay. It is caused by bacteria in plaque acting on the refined carbohydrates (mainly sugars) in food to produce acid, which, after prolonged or repeated exposure, causes changes to occur on the surface of the tooth.

If the decalcification penetrates the enamel layer, it spreads into the dentine and permits bacteria to enter the inner pulp. (See also caries, dental.)


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