Decalcification, dental

The dissolving of minerals in a tooth. Dental decalcification is the first stage of tooth decay. It is caused by the bacteria in plaque acting on refined carbohydrates (mainly sugar) in food to produce acid, which leads to changes on the surface of the tooth. If the decalcification penetrates the enamel, it spreads into the dentine and permits bacteria to enter the pulp. (See also caries, dental.)


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